CALLS for reform of the Government’s drugs policy will be made at a conference taking place in the North-East later this week.

Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg is to chair a meeting of experts at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham on Friday.

Mr Hogg, who has previously advocated giving free heroin to addicts in supervised shooting galleries and the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, plans to publish a manifesto calling for reform.

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He said: “National drugs policy has failed.

“We need a radical new approach to cut crime reduce harm and keep communities safe.

“I will be publishing my manifesto, ‘Towards a Safer Drugs Policy’, calling for reform to be clear and well-evidenced”.

Friday’s symposium will feature speakers from around the world and delegates from the police, health, prisons, courts, politics and university sector.

Among the speakers will be bereaved mother Rose Humphries, who lost two sons to heroin overdoses, former undercover police office Neil Woods and Madame Ruth Dreifuss, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.