REVEALED: University of Bristol’s new drug punishment policy
A revolutionary change
The University of Bristol has introduced a new process for dealing with student drug offences this year.
First time offenders who break drug misuse laws will be forced to attend a ‘Drugs Education Programme’ rather than face arrest or penalty notice. Attendance on the course will not trigger a criminal record entry.
The latest UoB Accommodation Disciplinary Handbook claims that the policy is to be used for all offences involving narcotics from Category A (cocaine, MDMA, mushrooms, LSD), B (cannabis), and C (Valium).
This move by the university reflects the new, lenient approach by Avon and Somerset Police towards first time drug offenders in the Constabulary’s area of jurisdiction.
A more tolerant approach to drugs introduced by various UK police forces is in stark contrast to the hard-line perspective exhibited by the government which led to Nitrous Oxide balloons being banned from Bristol’s beloved club Lakota.
Since April, 215 people caught in possession of drugs in Bristol have been offered an alternative to receiving a criminal record by Avon and Somerset Police.
Whether this signals a big step towards decriminalisation in the UK or is simply a temporary test policy remains to be seen.