Select Committee on Home Affairs Memoranda


Submitted by the East Riding and Hull Drug Action Teams


  1.1  The East Riding and Hull Drug Action Teams operate together. They deliver the National Drug Strategy throughout the East Riding and Hull.

  1.2  The Chairman is Darryl Stephenson, Chief Executive of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Mr Stephenson is a member of the Audit Commission Advisory Group examining the management of drug treatment.

  1.3  The Vice Chairman is Ian Crookham, Chief Executive of Kingston upon Hull City Council. Mr Crookham is the Chair of the Hull Community Safety Board.

  1.4  The Co-ordinator is Geoffrey Ogden. Mr Ogden was a Police Officer for 33 years retiring as Detective Chief Superintendent, Head of Humberside CID in 1995. He had experience of major investigations linked to drugs and enforcement operations nationally and in Europe whilst a Regional Crime Squad Commander. Prior to the national strategy he formed a Community Drug Charter which attempted a multi agency approach. Upon retirement he co-ordinated a Community Safety Partnership in North Lincolnshire being Chair of a Drug Reference Group and member of the former South Humber DAT.

  1.5  The Teams are responsible for an area populated by 600,000. This includes the Humber estuary, ports of Hull and Goole, and diverse urban, rural and coastal areas of the East Riding.

  1.6  Both Local Authorities have Beacon Council status for Tackling Youth Drug Issues.


  2.1  The East Riding and Hull DATs feel that existing drug policy does work. Members oppose any significant changes to it. They believe that the national objectives are sharply focused. Locally progress is being made. Examples follow.

2.2  Young People

  2.2.1  Education and awareness programmes have existed for three years. These encompass National Curriculum work, drama, media, workshops, theatre, music and sport. They are working.

  2.2.2  Services for young people range from general awareness to specialist treatment.

  2.2.3  Class A and B substances, and alcohol are prioritised. These include cannabis at the request of schools.

  2.2.4  Less young people are using Class A drugs. Cannabis remains a problem hindering development in the formative years of a young person.

2.3  Protecting Communities

  2.3.1  Arrest referral, drug treatment and testing orders, structured six month day programmes and prison treatment as key elements of criminal justice intervention have brought drug-related crime down by over 9 per cent.

  2.3.2  Community drug forums have energised local people. All dimensions of the strategy are localised.

  2.3.3  The Communities Against Drugs fund will strengthen this approach.

2.4  Treatment

  2.4.1  Treatment programmes two years ago were poorly commissioned, co-ordinated and not effective. DATs members required a review of services.

  2.4.2  That was completed. Former agencies were disbanded. A new structure from generic treatment to specialist forms of intervention was established.

  2.4.3  Drug-related deaths are reviewed. This influenced the development of services. Deaths have been halved, waiting lists for treatment reduced and prescribed methadone removed from the drug market.

  2.4.4  DATs members welcome the National Treatment Agency to oversee improvement.

2.5  Stifling the Availability of Drugs

  2.5.1  The DATs assess the number of users accessing treatment alongside prosecutions for trafficking. More effort locally and nationally is required to close the gap between demand and supply.

  2.5.2  Members identified five levels of supply and launched an action plan for each level. This includes Local Policing Teams, drug forums, specialist units, National Crime Intelligence Service and National Crime Squad.

  2.5.3  The action plan is working. Members feel that insufficient attention however has been paid nationally to this element of the strategy. HM Customs concentrate on alcohol and tobacco when Class A drugs particularly heroin are causing problems locally.

  2.5.4  Members welcome the proposals to establish a National Asset Seizure Agency. The fight to control supply would succeed if there was less hypocrisy around money laundering, the black economy and the transfer of drug proceeds into legitimate markets.


3.1  Demand

  The demand for currently illegal drugs would increase if any were legalised or reduced in classification. Minimum ages for use would be set. We have problems with underage drinking now. Strengths would be agreed. The illegal market would thrive to provide stronger substances.

3.2  Drug-Related Deaths

  Deaths would not be reduced. Stronger substances would flourish. Deaths can as evidenced in the East Riding and Hull be reduced by improved treatment, effective prevention and targeting traffickers.

3.3  Drug-Related Crime

  If there were legal access to drugs, dealers operating outside the legal supply would not be marginalised. Turf wars would continue and acquisitive crime to sustain the continuing illegal market would remain. Drug related crime can and is being tackled through effective intervention.


  DTTOs are effective when linked to better treatment, structured courses of education and employment with efforts made to remove the dealer from the lives of offenders.


  5.1  DATs members were surprised at the new role for the National Co-ordinator and transfer of UKADCU to the Home Office.

  5.2  A national drug strategy did not exist until 1995. It was strengthened in 1998 and more progress has been made over three years than at any time in the history of British drug policy.

  5.3  The co-ordination of that strategy in the Cabinet Office ensured that all departments of government were involved. Historically the Home Office did not make that progress.


  6.1  The national drug strategy is working. It is a ten year programme. For thirty years demand, supply and health were separately addressed. Time was wasted.

  6.2  Improvements can be made but major surgery is not necessary.

  6.3  Members wish this written evidence to be presented to the Committee. They would welcome the opportunity to expand on it orally through the Co-ordinator.

September 2001

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