GLASGOW has the “most compelling case in Europe” for a Safer Drug Consumption Room, MPs have been told.

A panel of academics from universities in Glasgow and Stirling said all the evidence points to a facility being able to reduce harm caused by problem drug use and public drug injecting.

The city is in the grip of a five-year long HIV epidemic and has the highest rate of drug related deaths ever recorded.

Last year there were 170 drug deaths in Glasgow, with an increase in 'street blues' and also a rise in cocaine injecting.

The UK Government has refused to amend 40 year-old drug laws to allow the city to set up a Safer Drug Consumption Room, stating it will not allow anything that supports the illegal trade in drugs.

However, experts have told the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster that a change is needed.

Dr Andrew McAuley of Glasgow Caledonian University, said international evidence shouldn’t be ignored.

He said: “There is arguably the most compelling case in Europe for Glasgow to have one.

“There is a whole host of reasons why Glasgow is the perfect case for the UK’s first Drug Consumption Room.”

He said there is a “growing consensus” the war on drugs approach has failed and the criminalisation of drug use has not worked.

Dr McAuley said: “A public health approach offers solutions at both individual and community level.”

His view was echoed by Professor Catriona Matheson of Stirling University, who told the panel that parts of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, while having benefits to pharmacists and police is a “barrier to intervention”.

Dr Emily Tweed, of Glasgow University said there is international evidence that Safer Drug Consumption Rooms work.

She said: “What these facilities are able to do is they reach the people most at risk.

“They reduce the risk of sharing needles and equipment and reduce public injecting and improve the uptake of services.”