Friday & Saturday - 19-20 May 

Conference Room: Umeå Univesity, Norra Beteendevetarhuset NBET.A.157

Law Enforcement, harm reduction and drug policy: a workshop

The workshop fee is 550 SEK excluding VAT.

Registration for this workshop is now closed. For the possible late registration please contact 

Note, registration for LEPH is separate. Click here for LEPH 2023 registration 

This workshop will explore the practice of harm reduction policing, and the role of police in different and reformed regulatory regimes for drugs currently illicit. Speakers from International Drug Policy Commissions, Police agencies and other key stakeholders will present their work and experience with harm reduction policies and why there is a need for a change.

There is a widespread and growing international consensus on the need for policy reforms regarding illicit drugs for personal use, from the UN common position on drug policy that endorses decriminalization of possession and use, and from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, 2021. The goal is that more countries decriminalize drug use, adopt innovative approaches based on public health, and legalize formerly banned substances

Police globally are increasingly supportive of harm reduction policing and drug policy reform. As those who are tasked with enforcing the criminalization of illicit drugs for personal use, the Police voice is powerful and important: such voices include the Law Enforcement Action Partnership and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP):

Click here to read more about the Law Enforcement and Harm Reduction Special Interest Group
Julia Ryland,
Ben Scher,         

Link to program


Objective:   to explore and address the role of police and other law enforcement in relation to current drug policies.


  1. To highlight failings of current systems, including criminalization of and overincarceration for drug possession for personal use;
  2. To consult the law enforcement community on their views on what shape reforms to drug regulatory systems should take, based on their experience;
  3. To explore and advocate for harm reduction policing;
  4. To finalise and endorse a call by police for drug policy reform, especially decriminalization and regulation of possession of drugs for personal use; and
  5. To plan for greatest impact of the outputs of this Workshop


  1. Statement/declaration/call by police for harm reduction policing and drug policy reform, including decriminalization and regulation of possession of drugs for personal use; and
  2. Revised and relaunched LEAHN materials, including
    1. Statement of support by police for harm reduction;
    2. Amsterdam declaration on police partnerships for harm reduction
    3. Guidance notes on safe injecting facilities, policing young drug users, and policing amphetamines.


Wednesday - 24 May

Workshop: The Role of Law Enforcement in Healt Security
Organized by GLEPHA & EU project Joint Action Terror

Joint Action Terror (JA TERROR) and Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association (GLEPHA) invite you to a workshop afternoon to discuss ‘the role of law enforcement in health security’. JA TERROR is a European Union project based on 17 member countries and 31 partner organisations. The focus is to address gaps in health preparedness and to strengthen response to biological and chemical terror attacks by cross-sectoral work with security, civil protection and health sectors. GLEPHA is a membership-based association working towards bringing the law enforcement and public health sectors together. GLEPHA is also the founder of LEPH conference.

The relationship between public health and law enforcement is contested. Some argue that this is an important and synergistic relationship and point to successful close collaborations in areas such as drugs policing, and mental health. Others are less certain, with some voices arguing that law enforcement can be a barrier to achieving public health goals for example, concern over racially biased policing, and use of excessive force. This debate extends to health security, where it is not clear what, if any, role law enforcement has. Internationally, there is substantial variation in practice, in some jurisdictions law enforcement is a critical partner in health security preparedness and response, whereas in others they have no role at all.

The aim of this joint meeting is to explore if and to what extent law enforcement can be usefully involved in health security issues, what specific areas they might contribute to, and how best this could be achieved.