A POLICE boss has come out in support of changes to the law to allow assisted dying.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones is one of 18 from across the UK to sign a letter to the Ministry of Justice urging reform on the right to die.

Mr Jones is supporting the campaign that’s been launched on behalf of Ron Hogg, the Police, Crime and Victims Commissioner for Durham, who has the incurable muscle wasting condition motor neurone disease and wishes for the law to be altered to allow him to end his life

The letter co-signed by Mr Jones reads: “Many will have experienced or heard of cases where the blanket ban on assisted dying has caused distress, confusion and pain for dying people, their loved ones, and even the investigating police officers themselves.

“Most recently, great-grandmother, Mavis Eccleston, was acquitted by a jury after being charged with murder for helping Dennis, her husband of 60 years, to end his own life rather than suffer any further agony from advanced bowel cancer.

“Earlier this year, 76-year-old Ann Whaley was investigated by police for booking travel to and accommodation in Switzerland for her husband, Geoff, who had arranged an assisted death at Dignitas in order to avoid a prolonged, traumatic end from motor neurone disease. “The cost of these investigations - financial, emotional and societal - cannot be easily dismissed.

“We believe it is time for a renewed look at the functioning of the existing law on assisted dying.

“While there are clearly differences of opinion as to whether or how the law should change, we contend that the law is not working as well as it could and seek an inquiry to confirm that.”

Since being elected as North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Jones has worked closely with Mr Hogg, who has been an innovative and passionate advocate of drug reform .

Mr Hogg has pioneered a new approach to minor offenders, including people with problematic drug use, through a successful scheme called Checkpoint and is said to be considering going to the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland.

Mr Jones is about to launch a similar scheme called Checkpoint Cymru which will see low-level offenders here being given the chance to avoid a criminal record by signing up to a strict rehabilitation programme and staying out of trouble.

Mr Hogg said: “I think the law should allow assisted dying. Clearly you need to have safeguards. But there ought to be a clear path outlined where individuals who would want to choose that route can do so, and can do so legally within the UK.