Durham Constabulary and Cannabis
Over the past few years Durham has gotten quite a lot of positive press around the consumption of Cannabis, this is because the count police force's democratically elected leader Ron Hogg, the regions PCC (Police and crime commissioner) announced in July 2015 that Durham constabulary would no longer be targeting small scale cultivators and consumers who are only consuming for personal and medical use.
"Of course it is up to the government to change the law but I am trying to open up a debate about drugs and drugs policy." - Ron Hogg (https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ppxapm/a-police-chief-in-north-east-england-basically-just-made-weed-legal-012)
Cultivators will no longer be targeted by police, instead they will focus on crimes that have actual victims and are committed by criminals not consumers caught in the cross-hairs of prohibitionists. Who are seeking to ban one of the safest substances on the planet.
"By and large we are saying it is not the top of our list to go out and try to pick up people smoking joints on street corners," said Hogg, who in the past has called for harder drugs like coke and heroin to be made available to addicts on the NHS, "but if it's blatant or we get complaints, officers will act." -Ron Hogg (https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/ppxapm/a-police-chief-in-north-east-england-basically-just-made-weed-legal-012)
The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible for the totality of policing. The PCC's aim is to cut crime and deliver an effective and efficient police service within their force area.
Ron Hogg's deprioritisation of Cannabis netted him a higher majority when he was relected for his second term as the Labour backed PCC, evidence of the public's confidence in his policies and his ability to lead the force in a more positive direction for residents of County Durham.
Durham constabulary was the only force out of 43 to be ranked outstanding recently by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which reviews every force, with 24 constabularies being rated "good" and 18 "requiring improvement". (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-35601530)
Unfortunately this honour is in jeopardy as successive government have made severe cuts to the forces budget which has meant that Durham is one of the hardest effected forces with a real terms cut of 35% in its number of full-time police officers, nearly three times the national average. (http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/durham-hit-hardest-police-cuts-12255189)
This is a real terms lose of 601 full time officers over the last decade, which means there is now just one full-time officer for every 561 residents in County Durham.
This is further testament to the great work the counties PCC and Chief Constable have done to control crime in the region and manage ever dwindling resources.