A reforming police boss has praised Match of the Day TV presenter Gary Lineker after he called for drugs to be legalised.

The former England international centre forward agreed on Twitter that the war on drugs had failed and that prohibition had played into the hands of organised crime gangs.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, a long-time campaigner for drugs reform, thanked the ex-Barcelona, Leicester City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur player for his support.

Lineker, who also presents BT Sport’s Champions’ League coverage, told his 6.9 million Twitter followers: “It’s high time we decriminalised drugs. Help those with problems rather than make them criminals. Give tax revenue to NHS. Tickety-boo.

“Controversial, no doubt, but never understood the drug laws. Just get on with decriminalisation. Prohibition doesn’t work, just creates much worse crime. Other countries like Portugal are leading the way and results are impressive

He then described as common sense a tweet from pressure group LEAP UK which said: “After yrs fighting & failing to win the #WarOnDrugs, our members realised we are part of the problem, not the solution. If we want to take control back from Organised Crime we need to legally regulate all drugs. Currently drug-gangs have all the power.”

Arfon Jones responded to Gary Lineker saying: ”Absolutely right, regulation of drugs would reduce organised criminality massively. Thanks for your support.”

The reply went down well with the sports broadcaster who retweeted it.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “I very much welcome the common sense approach of Gary Linker to the drugs issue.

"It's been clear to me for a long time that the so-called war on drugs has failed and we therefore have to think outside the box with common sense and pragmatism so we can solve this problem once and for all. Carrying on repeating the same mistakes does not make any sense.

"At the moment, what everybody is doing is treating the symptoms of substance abuse and drug addiction rather than addressing the underlying causes.

"We should be treating drug addiction as a public health issue rather than as a criminal matter.

“You can't force somebody into treatment or rehabilitation until they're ready. That's the nature and the power of addiction, so in the meantime we should have things in place for harm reduction to protect problematic drug users

“For example, setting up a Drug Consumption Room (DCR) in Wrexham where people suffering from problematic drug use can take the drugs themselves safely and hygienically and could potentially save lives, but and would also provide real benefits to the community.

“Fewer discarded needles will ensure safer streets while more hygienic facilities will reduce the spread of disease like HIV. At the same time, the emergency services will be able to reach more quickly anybody who suffers an overdose, becomes violent while under the influence or pricks themselves accidentally.

“Importantly, for the community a Drug Consumption Room can reduce crime because it will free up police officers to concentrate on serious offences whilst providing an opportunity to help those taking drugs to address other issues like poverty and homelessness.

"The real villains here are the organised criminals who are responsible for peddling all this misery and they are the one we should we targeting with all our might."