Select Committee on Home Affairs Memoranda

Annex B


  B1  At the national level the Home Secretary has overall responsibility for delivery of the strategy.

  B2  The Prime Minister has established a ministerial sub-committee for tackling drug misuse—DA(D). Its members are the: Home Secretary (Chairman); Secretary of State for Health; the Chief Secretary, Treasury; the Secretary of State for Education and Skills; the Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Barbara Roche); and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Ben Bradshaw). The Financial Secretary, Treasury is invited to attend as appropriate given his responsibility for HMC&E. Its terms of reference are: "to co-ordinate the Government's national and international policies for tackling drugs misuse and report as necessary to the Committee on Domestic Affairs".

  B3  The Home Secretary, supported by the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, takes the lead on delivery of the activity in support of the target for young people.

  B4  The Home Secretary also has lead responsibility for delivery of the activity in support of the target for communities.

  B5  The Secretary of State for Health has lead responsibility for delivery of the activity in support of the target for treatment.

  B6  HMC&E supported by other departments and agencies is in the lead in delivering activity in support of the target on reducing availability. The Financial Secretary, given his responsibility for HMC&E, has lead responsibility for delivery of the activity in support of the target on reducing availability.

Linking national and local delivery

  B7  The PSA targets are by their nature high level statements of strategy delivery. A key role in ensuring their delivery—and reflecting the genuinely cross-departmental nature of activities underpinning them—is played by Service Delivery Agreement targets. These form an integral part of Departments' own Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs) and as such form a bridge between the outcome-focused strategy-wide PSAs and delivery by departments and their local agencies on the ground.

  B8  Examples include, in the case of the Young People's target, measures to improve the effectiveness with which local agencies (such as the police and probation services, health authorities and schools) co-ordinate their work and implement best practice; in the case of Communities the roll-out and maintenance of Arrest Referral Schemes and Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs); the piloting of drugs testing; for Treatment, the addressing of performance variations within each of the main types of treatment; and reducing drug-related deaths by 20 per cent by 2004; and for Availablity, increasing the proportion of Class "A" drugs targeted on the UK which are seized, increasing disruptions of organised drugs smuggling gangs and forfeiture of assets.

Local Delivery

  B9  Drug Action Teams were set up in 1995 under the White Paper Tackling Drugs Together (Cm 2846—published May 1995) which recognised the need for "co-ordinated local action, building upon existing statutory and operational responsibilities for tackling drug misuse and tailored to local circumstances and priorities".

  B10  Drug Action Teams have the responsibility for delivering the Government's anti-drugs programmes at a local level. Drug Action Teams do not have statutory status but this is under review. From 2002 will report annually to Home Office Ministers on progress for the previous year and their plans for the year ahead. Drug Action Teams are financially accountable for the large sums of money which come to them eg via pooled budgets.

  B11  149 Drug Action Teams operate locally. Their structure follows unitary, metropolitan, or London Borough local authority boundaries. They link with other locally-based partnerships: 354 Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (in England); 154 Youth Offending Teams; and Local Strategic Partnerships which are aligned with local authority boundaries—like Drug Action Teams.

  B12  Drug Action Teams bring together senior representatives of all the local agencies involved in tackling the misuse of drugs, including the health authority, local authority, police, probation, social services, education and youth services, and the voluntary sector. As senior figures, they should be advised by Drug Reference Groups, made up of those with closer day to day involvement with action against drugs problems.

  B13  Drug Action Teams also work closely with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to help the police and communities tackle local drug problems and associated crime. Following the launch of the Communities Against Drugs initiative (see 3.6-3.9), Drug Action Teams will be agreeing strategies with Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to use the Communities Against Drugs money in the most appropriate way to disrupt drugs markets, tackle drug related crime and disorder and to strengthen the ability of communities to resist drugs and to act against drug misuse.

  B14  Drug Action Teams are supported by the Home Office's Drug Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) which provides a range of expert services which are developed and provided in response to Drug Action Teams' specific needs. DPAS' customer services fall into three distinct categories: providing information; supporting partnerships; and assessing performance. At regional level, DPAS sits alongside Government Offices in the Regions and works closely with Regional Crime Directors (supporting Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships) and individual Youth Offending Team managers (there is no regional Youth Justice Board presence). The National Treatment Agency will also have a regional presence, working closely with the Drug Prevention Advisory Service.

Devolved Administrations

  B15  Although most activities aimed at tackling drug misuse are devolved, it is clearly important that co-operation and, where appropriate, co-ordination take place against the threat posed by drugs to the UK. Anti-drug strategies have been launched in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to deal with drug-related problems specific to them. All three strategies reflect the same four aims as the UK strategy, relating to young people, communities, treatment and availability, but with specific objectives and action priorities tailored to the particular problems and circumstances in each country.

Northern Ireland

  B16  Drug Strategy for Northern Ireland was launched in August 1999.


  B17  Strategies and action plans to tackle drug misuse are being implemented in Scotland. The Scottish Executive's Drugs Action Plan, published in May 2000, set out the Executive's actions in support of the implementation of Scotland's 1999 drugs misuse strategy Tackling drugs in Scotland: Action in Partnership.


  B18  The strategy Tackling Substance Misuse in Wales: A Partnership Approach was launched in May 2000. It is an eight year strategy to co-incide with the timeframe of Tackling drugs to build a better Britain.

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