Injection room opens but ‘no drugs allowed’

Denmark’s first injection room for heroin users has opened, despite warnings from police that they will arrest anyone found taking drugs there. While officers are not opposed to the private chamber in principle, they say they will close down the facility in the Vesterbro district of Copenhagen if they find people there are breaking the law.

“The room is not illegal per se, but possession of narcotics is illegal,” said Arne Wissing of the Copenhagen Police. “We have no intention to sit passively and witness criminal acts, so if we see people in possession of illegal drugs, we will certainly act.”

Michael Lodberg Olsen, the principal organiser of the scheme, argued that the police are being short sighted.

“If that’s the case, then they could just as well have shut down all of Vesterbro 30 years ago,” he told the Copenhagen Post. “A report from the UN states that handing out clean needles to drug abusers is the same as establishing an injection room,” he added.

The room was opened on Tuesday, despite the police disapproval and protests by local residents. It is situated opposite Central Station at Reventlowsgade 28.