UK ministers insist that the creation of 'mobile fix rooms' as part of "urgent and radical steps" to deal with Scotland's drugs deaths crisis would be illegal.

Drug treatment activist Peter Krykant risks arrest as he has failed to be given an exemption for his mobile consumption facility in Glasgow which has been formally rejected UK government.

He has called for the Scotland's top law officer, the Lord Advocate to step in saying: "I dont feel any laws are being broken. Is it a crime to preserve life & reduce harm caused by drugs?"

There were 1,187 drug-related deaths in Scotland in 2018, by far the highest death rate in the European Union and three times that of the UK as a whole.

MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee have been told the government has rejected their calls to declare "a public health emergency" over the crisis and dismissed a call for the possession of drugs for personal use to be decriminalised as part of substantial reform to the approach to drug use.

A committee report published at the end of last year also criticised the UK Government for blocking a Glasgow trial of safe consumption rooms - places where people can use drugs with sterile equipment while being supervised by medical staff.


The MPs reported there was strong evidence that it would be a "practical step to reducing the number of drug-related deaths in Scotland".

But in a response, the government has insisted drug consumption rooms as established in Glasgow by Peter Krykant are "not legal in the UK".

UK ministers said that was due to a "range of offences" that are likely to be committed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 should a DCR be in place.

"That would be the case regardless of whether a DCR is piloted or whether there is full roll out of DCRs across the UK," the government said.

Alison Thewliss MP called on the Home Office to grant Mr Krykant permissions for his mobile safe consumption facility in a converted van.

Mr Krykant launched the UK’s first and illegal safe drugs consumption facility in Glasgow this week believing it acts as an overdose prevention measure.

The mobile SDCF is a copy of similar illegal ventures in places like Copenhagen and Vancouver which led to the state and local Government stepping in to do the work of the volunteers and update their laws.

The government has now said it had powers to obtain an exemption to create a DCR.

"However, these regulations would not be able to provide wider exemption from potential common law offences, such as manslaughter, or offences under other legislation," it said.

"There would also be additional challenges regarding civil liability, were things to go wrong.

"Primary legislation would therefore be required to provide complete security to those operating DCRs, which would take a great deal of time to develop and implement.

"Furthermore, many of the responsibilities to drive improvements, such as healthcare, housing and criminal justice, are devolved to Scotland. In particular, appropriate provision of drug treatment services is the responsibility of the Scottish Government."

Mr Krykant, a former homeless heroin addict, hoped his mobile service would jolt UK politicians into a radical U-turn on 'draconian' drug policies.

He took direct action after becoming frustrated at how the issue of safe drug facilities, or “shooting galleries”, had been rejected by the UK government which controls drugs policy.

The committee said that Westminster must work with the Scottish Government to find 'urgent, bold and imaginative' solutions.

The SNP backed a move to decriminalise drugs use at its conference in Aberdeen in October, last year.

And the committee said it felt decriminalisation can help deal with the root causes of problem drug use, such as stigma, and encourage people to seek treatment.

It heard that criminalisation “automatically makes drugs more dangerous and harmful” by pushing drug markets “underground”, where there is no way to monitor or regulate the quality and safety of drugs.

But Westminster responded: "This Government has no plans to decriminalise drug possession.

"The decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families and communities.

"There is a substantial body of scientific and medical evidence to show that controlled drugs, when misused, are harmful and can damage people’s mental and physical health, and our wider communities.

"Our approach on drugs remains clear — we must prevent drug use in our communities, support people through treatment and recovery, and tackle the supply of illegal drugs."