THE Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales has joined calls for a review of current assisted dying legislation.

The new campaign from Dignity in Dying, called Compassion Is Not A Crime, has the backing of Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. The campaign is calling on Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, to launch an inquiry into assisted dying legislation.

Mr Jones said: “In October I wrote to the Justice Secretary alongside 17 Police and Crime Commissioners to express our misgivings with the current law, which has caused distress, confusion and pain for terminally ill people, their loved ones and even the investigating police officers.

“We are concerned current legislation merely drives assisted deaths overseas or underground, that it does not offer adequate protection to potentially vulnerable people, and that it is near impossible to enforce in most cases. It’s time to investigate our broken laws, not innocent families.” There were four recorded crimes of aiding and abetting a suicide in North Wales between April 2012 and July 2019, according to a Freedom of Information request by Dignity in Dying.

In 2018, Sandra Holmes accompanied her 93 year old father, John Lenton, from his nursing home in Conwy county to Dignitas, only to find herself under criminal investigation on her return. She has joined the campaign.

John, who was suffering from terminal Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses, asked Sandra to help him avoid a traumatic and undignified end to his life by accompanying him to Dignitas, where he would be allowed an assisted death.

When it had emerged Sandra and her son, Scott, had travelled to Dignitas with John, North Wales Police began an investigation into the pair. However, the CPS eventually deemed it not in the public interest to prosecute, and the case was dropped.

Sandra said: “Nevertheless, we were still made to go through the ordeal of being questioned for nothing more than showing love and kindness to my dying father. The thought that I could go to prison for helping him to have a good death was extremely distressing.