Drugs: Breaking the Cycle - Home Affairs Committee Contents

5  The legislative framework and law enforcement relating to drugs

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

125. In the evidence submissions to this inquiry, there was a repeated theme of criticism of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Act, which classifies drugs into three classes: A, B or C, sets out the penalties for the possession and dealing of any drugs classified under it.
Possession Dealing
Class AEcstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, magic mushrooms, amphetamines (if prepared for injection). Up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine or both. Up to life in prison or an unlimited fine or both
Class BAmphetamines, Cannabis, Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Pholcodine. Up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine or both Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both
Class CTranquilisers, some painkillers, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Ketamine. Up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine or both Up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine or both

Home Office website

126. In 2004 cannabis was re-classified from Class B to a Class C drug. Following a decision taken in 2008, this re-classification was reversed in 2009. The re-classification of Cannabis to a Class C drug had no impact on its use according to the British Crime Survey.[156] However, as noted in paragraph 4 the number of people seeking treatment for problem cannabis use has increased significantly since 2005. As the table below shows, there was an overall trend of decrease in cannabis use whilst cannabis was a Class C drug. Use of cannabis, which peaked in 2002-03 at 10.9%[157], decreased steadily up until its re-classification as a Class B drug in 2009. This episode demonstrates that the classification of a drug may have little effect on the prevalence of its use. We remain, however, of the view expressed in our predecessor's report, namely that cannabis be reclassified from class B to C, and therefore regret the decision taken by the Government in 2008.

Figure 1: Proportion of 16 to 59 year olds reporting use of cannabis, 1996-2010/11

Source: Home Office, Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2010-11 British Crime Survey (July 2011), p 19

127. The majority of criticism voiced by those who gave evidence to this inquiry centred on the inconsistency of not all intoxicating substances (including cigarettes and alcohol) being classified under the Act. In their recent report, the UK Drugs Policy Commission said that a major criticism of current policy is that such substances are dealt with through a range of legislative frameworks. Solvents are regulated through the Intoxicating Substances Act; alcohol and tobacco are regulated through trading standards and licensing as well as through taxation policies while illicit drugs are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act. [158] Such inconsistent control measures have the potential to send confusing messages about the potential harms of such substances, especially as information on the effects of illicit drugs becomes more available via the media and the internet.

128. This view was also supported by the Royal Society of the Arts[159] and DrugScope.[160] The Angelus Foundation called for a review of the Act, making the point that

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has not shown it can be used to reduce prevalence of the new drugs—it should be fully reviewed. ... The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was drafted in a very different era for drug misuse. The pace of change cannot be sustained by the legislation The Angelus Foundation advocates a review of the act similar to the one carried out by in New Zealand by their Law Commission. [161]

129. Whilst we accept the premise that all intoxicating substances ought to be judged against each other in terms of the levels of harm that they cause, we also note the view of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee which looked at drug classification in 2006.

In our view, it would be unfeasible to expect a penalty-linked classification system to include tobacco and alcohol but there would be merit in including them in a more scientific scale, decoupled from penalties, to give the public a better sense of the relative harms involved.[162]

130. We return to a recommendation made by our predecessor Committee as part of its inquiry in to the cocaine trade in 2009.

We therefore support calls for a full and independent value-for-money assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and related legislation and policy.[163]

The Government refused to accept this recommendation, saying that

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, as amended, responds to the three UN Drug Conventions. It controls the drugs which the UK is required to control as a signatory to the Conventions. International agreement would be required for any change to the Convention controls and the UK will not alter its stance on them and has no intention of breaking our obligations in respect of them by acting unilaterally. Nor do we intend to undertake an assessment comparing the costs and benefits of different legislative options for domestic drug policy. However, we will work with other Government Departments to explore putting in place an evaluative framework which encompasses the broad range of individual strands with a view to establishing a more coherent evaluative overview of the strategy in its entirety. This should also provide more integrated information with which to make a more robust assessment of VFM.[164]

131. Our predecessor Committee's recommendation for an independent assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was rejected on the basis that it gives effect to the UK's international obligations in this area. That is not, in our view, a compelling reason for refusing to review our own domestic legislative framework, particularly given the growing concern about the current international regime in many producer nations. The message from Colombia and other supplier and transit states is clear—what the international community is currently doing is not working. We are not suggesting that the UK should act unilaterally in these matters, but our Government's position must be informed by a thorough understanding of the global situation and possible alternative policies.

132. This inquiry has heard views from all sides of the argument and we believe that there is now, more than ever, a case for a fundamental review of all UK drugs policy in the international context, to establish a package of measures that will be effective in combating the harm caused by drugs, both at home and abroad. We recommend the establishment of a Royal Commission to consider the best ways of reducing the harm caused by drugs in an increasingly globalised world. In order to avoid an overly long, overly expensive review process, we recommend that such a commission be set up immediately and be required to report in 2015.

Drug-related policing

133. There are a number of police activities related to drug enforcement carried out by, amongst others, UK police forces, SOCA and the UK Border Force. These Agencies will work both separately and jointly to reduce the supply of illicit drugs at home and abroad. The UK agencies will also work with foreign partners when required. Drug-related policing activities include:

  • Raids e.g. Cannabis factories, drug suppliers
  • Crackdown related to drugs e.g. pubs, drugs, key hot spots
  • Drug-related covert surveillance
  • Test purchasing of drugs
  • Joint operations relating to drugs e.g. borders/customs
  • Asset forfeiture and Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) investigations related to drugs
  • Drug money laundering detection and prevention
  • Controls on precursor chemicals
  • Controls on prescribed drugs and work with primary care trusts (PCTs)
  • Community policing including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
  • Drug-related work with community groups
  • Drug Intervention Programmes including drug testing on arrest
  • Drug education/schools
  • Forensic testing relating to drugs
  • Drug cautions and warnings
  • Use of drug dogs
  • Discretionary spend relating to drugs e.g. provision of match funding
  • Crime mapping technology/intelligence.


134. In evidence to the Committee, Trevor Pearce of SOCA highlighted the work that they were currently doing abroad "I think we have taken the lead, the UK, in how we operate in third-party countries and with them and help them develop their regional approaches."[165] He went on to elaborate

The capacity building is about how we can bring the experience we have from working with other jurisdictions, but also in terms of our approach to those countries, recognising that their resource levels are woefully small in this. Being able to surge activity from the UK to support them, we have done that in Sierra Leone, following a 600 kg seizure of cocaine; we have done it in The Gambia where we were able to identify the facility where another 2.1 tonnes of cocaine were being stored. Through that, through taking our forensic experts and taking investigators, we were able to build the experience and importantly build experience in how they operate in the criminal justice system.[166]

135. SOCA spends almost 10%[167] of its budgets on agents based overseas in some 40 countries worldwide. Most overseas posts maintain a wider remit than the country in which the officers are stationed, enabling an operational reach across more than 150 nations.[168] A 1987 study which examined the role of interdiction (seizure of drugs in source countries) found that it was much more cost effective than seizures in the domestic market because, as the product is trafficked to consumer countries, the list of law enforcement targets increases.[169]

136. The majority of SOCAs seizures take place abroad as the table below shows
UK Abroad Total
2011-12 %2011-12 %2011-12
Heroinkg 1, 21625.41% 3,57174.59% 4,788
Cocainekg 1,5072.22% 66,31197.78% 67,818
Opiumkg 100.12% 8,55199.88% 8,561
Cannabiskg 5,8447.23% 75,02092.77% 80,864
Totalkg 8,5785.29% 153,45394.71 162,031

Correspondence to Chair from Trevor Pearce (SOCA) dated 24 September 2012

This breakdown is perhaps unsurprising as local police forces and the UK Border Force are primarily responsible for seizing illicit drugs within the UK. The statistics for UK drug seizures mean that there is a possible comparison that can be made from drug seizures made by local police forces, the UK Border Agency and SOCA.
Drug seizures made in 2011-12 in England and Wales by police (including the British Transport Police) and the UK Border Agency (including HM Revenue and Customs)[170] SOCA drug interdiction in the UK 2011-12 SOCA drug interdiction abroad 2011-12
HeroinTonnes 1.81.2 4.8
CocaineTonnes 3.5 1.5 66.3
OpiumTonnes Not available0.01 8.6
CannabisTonnes 41.5 5.8 75

Compiled by Committee staff

137. The interdiction and capacity building work was highly valued by Anti-Narcotic officers that we spoke to during our visit to Colombia and President Santos himself was quick to highlight the importance of the work of SOCA to the counter-narcotic effort. He explained however, that whilst demand from consumer countries was maintained, the drug traffickers would find a way to supply the drugs. It was this, he said, which led to his calls for an international debate on the future of drugs policy, not any sort of belief that drugs are harmless.

138. We endorse the praise from President Santos and others for the work of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. In the countries we visited, it was clear that they did an excellent job and were well respected. We encourage the Government to find a way to retain the SOCA brand overseas, in the move to the National Crime Agency, perhaps as a Serious Overseas Crime Arm of the NCA. However, despite their best efforts and considerable success, we agree with President Santos and others that it is impossible for them to prevent drug trafficking completely.


139. The trade in illicit drugs is estimated to generate an annual $300 billion profits worldwide[171], the majority of which will be laundered through the legitimate financial system. Although more difficult to trace than the drugs themselves, seizure of financial assets is more worthwhile. Whilst drugs can be 'cut' with other chemicals to 'bulk up' the remaining product available, once the money is seized, it cannot be replaced and the cycle of the business is disrupted.[172] SOCA, the agency responsible for seizing the profits of organised crime state that

Money is at the heart of all organised crime. The lifestyle and status it brings is the main motivation for most criminals. And just as legitimate businesses need funding to stay afloat, so does organised crime. Without cash flow, deals can't be made and people can't be paid. For both these reasons, many organised criminals fear attacks on their finances and lifestyle more than prison. ... Interrupting cash flow stalls business deals, leaves criminals owing each other, creates tensions, and paralyses plans, all of which reduces their capacity to stay in business.[173]

140. One way that SOCA identifies possible money laundering is through the reporting of suspicious activity reports (SARs), a piece of information which alerts law enforcement that certain client or customer activity is in some way suspicious and might indicate money laundering or terrorist financing. A range of professions including accountants, lawyers, bankers and estate agents are responsible for reporting suspicious activity. There were 247,601 SARs reported between October 2010 and September 2011. The information contained in a SAR will provide "opportunities to identify and develop new intelligence on criminal movements of funds. This in turn can enhance existing intelligence from other sources to build a better picture of criminal networks and vulnerabilities."[174]

Figure 2: SARs submitted by sector

Source: Serious Organised Crime Agency, SARs Annual Report (2011), p 14

141. As the majority of SARs come from banks, it is vital to ensure that they are following the Money Laundering Regulations. This is currently the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority. The FSA undertake three main types of work in regards to anti-money laundering controls—checking the anti-money laundering systems of authorised firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations, casework (where something appears to have gone wrong in a firm) and thematic reviews of the industry. They are responsible for enforcing and prosecuting breaches of the regulations. Under the regulations, any firm which is based in the UK must ensure that they apply their UK Anti-Money Laundering standards throughout their non-EEA operations.

FSA review of money laundering compliance

142. In June 2011, the Financial Services Authority published a report entitled 'Banks' management of high money-laundering risk situations'. The report made some worrying criticisms about the banks that had been reviewed.

Some banks appeared unwilling to turn away, or exit, very profitable business relationships when there appeared to be an unacceptable risk of handling the proceeds of crime. Around a third of banks, including the private banking arms of some major banking groups, appeared willing to accept very high levels of money-laundering risk if the immediate reputational and regulatory risk was acceptable. ... At a few banks, the general Anti-Money Laundering culture was a concern, with senior management and/or compliance challenging us about the whole point of the Anti-Money Laundering regime or the need to identify Politically-Exposed Persons.[175]

The main conclusions of the report included the finding that serious weaknesses were identified in banks' systems and controls and that there were indications that some banks were willing to enter into very high-risk business relationships without adequate controls if there were potentially large profits to be made. This would make it likely that some banks are handling the proceeds of corruption or other financial crime.

143. The report highlighted that in "some banks, we found that the dominant culture appeared to undermine the effective implementation of Anti-Money Laundering policies. At nearly half the banks in our sample, a poor Anti-Money Laundering compliance culture and an apparent lack of leadership on Anti-Money Laundering issues from senior management were accompanied by a lack of senior management involvement in Politically-Exposed Persons and high risk customer sign-off processes."[176] The inference throughout the report is that it is the smaller banks that have not fully adopted an attitude change towards Anti-Money Laundering compliance. The FSA were concerned that senior management at a quarter of banks visited, mainly in private banks or the private banking arms of major banks, seemed to view money laundering as a reputational risk issue rather than a moral or criminal issue. In these banks, senior management attached greater importance to the risk that a customer might be involved in a public scandal, than to the risk that the customer might be corrupt or otherwise engaged in financial crime, and using the bank to launder criminal proceeds.[177]

144. Tracey McDermott, head of the enforcement and financial crime division at the FSA told us that they

were disappointed by our findings in a number of areas; we found that the banks we had visited as part of that review had, in some areas, good controls but had many more weaknesses than we would have expected to see and than we would think were appropriate. We have taken a series of enforcement cases off the back of findings from that thematic review, and we have made it very clear that we expected to see improvement.[178]

As well as intending to do a follow-up on the report in the future[179], the FSA are rolling out a 'Systematic Anti-Money Laundering Programme' which will focus on fourteen of the largest financial institutions.

145. The Systematic Anti-Money Laundering Programme will assess (on an ongoing basis) how robust the anti-money laundering and sanctions defences are in the banks that are responsible for the majority of the financial transactions in this country. The programme will consider each bank's anti-money laundering defences as an end-to-end process - due diligence when accounts are opened and reviewed, monitoring of customer transactions to identify unusual/suspicious activity and the quality of reports made to SOCA. The benefits of such a programme are increased understanding of how standards are evolving on the ground and helping to inform the assessment of risks. Ms McDermott explained the benefits of the programme

actually the banks and people on the front line often see new ways of moving money, so that is another source of information for us in assessing the risks and so on. Part of it is around deterrence, part of it is around spotting actual problems, and part of it is around making sure we are close to what is actually happening on the ground.[180]

Allegations of lax money laundering controls

146. In 2010, in an interview with Executive Intelligence Review, then-UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said that

The 2008 financial crisis, still unfolding, hit the entire trans-Atlantic banking sector. The illiquidity associated with the banking crisis, the reluctance of banks to lend money to one another, and so on and so forth, offered a golden opportunity to criminal institutions—which had developed huge financial power, money which was liquid because it could not be recycled through the banking system in earlier years. At this point in time, we're talking about the 2008-11 period, the need for cash by the banking sector and the liquidity of organized crime created an extraordinary opportunity for a marriage of convenience, namely, for organized crime to penetrate the banking sector.[181]

In the same interview he said that infiltration of the financial sector by criminal money has been so widespread that "it would probably be more correct to say that it was not the mafia trying to penetrate the banking system, but it was the banking sector which was actively looking for capital—including criminal money—not only as deposits, but also as share acquisitions and in some cases, as a presence on Boards of Directors." However, when we put this suggestion to Lord Turner, head of the FSA, he told us that

I do not think it is a credible description of the survival of the global banking system at the end of 2008. I find it difficult to make sense of those comments in that it could only have been the thing that kept the banking system afloat if new money came into the banking system, and new money only comes into the banking system through two routes. One is when people take cash— physical paper currency—and put it into the banking system, and there is no sign that that occurred in late 2008; indeed, in most banking systems in the world, there was a slight flow the other way. The other thing that can go into the banking system is central bank money—provided by the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the ECB—and that is essentially what kept the banking system afloat in autumn 2008.[182]

147. Antonio Maria Costa has also highlighted the case of Wachovia as proof of the wide scale involvement of the financial services sector with organised crime. In 2010, following a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that cocaine smugglers had laundered $480 million over a period of three years through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo. Wachovia paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine.

148. One of the people involved in identifying the issues at Wachovia was a London-based member of staff, Martin Woods. Mr Woods, who had previously been a police officer tasked with investigating money laundering, started working for Wachovia as a money laundering compliance officer. Having identified transactions which made him suspicious, he reported them to his superiors who denied that anything was wrong. In 2008, he wrote to the Financial Services Authority which he copied to the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the US banking regulatory authority). However because the suspicious transactions were taking place in banks in the US and Mexico, Wachovia questioned his right to probe matters which took place abroad. It was only after Mr Woods contacted US law enforcement that the case was investigated. Mr Woods later gave an interview in which he said

When I blew the whistle on Wachovia, I blew it on the UK's Financial Services Authority and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Both were involved in a catastrophic failure of banking regulations - they gave the bank clean bills of health for five years despite an ever-growing mountain of evidence against it. Putting banking secrecy over the public interest is unforgiveable.

There is a way to tackle the drug economy, the question is, is there the will? As a whistle blower, having gone through what I've gone through I wonder whether the whole thing is a charade. ... The banks and the drug industry have what appears to be a mutually beneficial system.[183]

149. One of the contributing factors to the length of time it took for the concerns about Wachovia to be taken seriously may be the width of the role of the FSA. The Authority is responsible for both the financial stability of banks as well as the overall economy and the conduct and standards of financial institutions. From April 2013 however, the FSA will be split in to two separate bodies, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Lord Turner explained that this would increase the focus on anti-money laundering compliance.

We will have, in the Financial Conduct Authority, people who are focusing on that, even if we were back in 2008 and 2009 and the world financial system was collapsing. ... Bluntly, I think in the past that the FSA was doing too much; putting all of those activities into one organisation made it very difficult for the top management to be focused on all those issues. If you were to honestly ask me how much attention did I pay to anti-money laundering in autumn 2008, the answer is not much because the financial system was collapsing and it felt that the single most important thing for myself and Hector Sants and the other most senior people to be focusing on was how we were going to rescue the banking system.[184]

150. Despite this renewed focus on anti-money laundering compliance, drugs profits laundered through the financial system are estimated to represent 0.4-0.6% of global GDP.[185] As with the trafficking of drugs, whilst it may be possible to reduce its prevalence, displacement means that it is unlikely that drugs-related money laundering could be completely eradicated. In 2003, Lord Turner gave a speech to the WWF in which he stated that

if we want to help sustainable economic development in the drug states - such as Colombia and Afghanistan - we should almost certainly liberalise drugs use in our societies, combating abuse via education, not prohibition, rather than launching unwinnable "wars on drugs" which simply criminalise whole societies.[186]

When we asked him if this was still his position, he replied that it was his personal view but that as long as drugs were controlled under UK legislation, laundering drugs-related proceeds is a criminal activity and banks must not allow the transmission of criminal money. He emphasised "a point of view as to whether or not the overall approach is a sensible one does not change in any sense the moral responsibility and the legal responsibility of banks to stick to the rules as they are at the moment."[187]

151. Like any business, the international drug trade thrives on profit. Identifying and seizing the profits of the drug trade, wherever they are in the world, must be a central part of the global fight against drugs. In that context, the UK's approach to money-laundering has been far too weak. Whilst we recognise that the financial crisis has occupied the attention of the FSA since 2008, there is little evidence that it treated the issue of money laundering sufficiently seriously prior to that time. We welcome the creation of the Financial Conduct Agency and we recommend that it produce annual reports which show the prevalence of money laundering within the UK financial sector.

152. Being fined by a regulatory body is an inadequate a sanction for complicity—however peripheral, and whether it is wilful or negligent—in an international criminal network which causes many thousands of deaths each year. We recommend that the Government bring forward new legislation to extend the personal, criminal liability of those who hold the most senior posts in the banks involved where they are found to have been involved in money laundering.

The impact of austerity on drug-related policing

153. The UK Drug Policy Commission recently carried out a survey looking at the impact of recent cuts in funding and the transfer of responsibilities to Policing and Crime commissioners on drug-related policing activities. The key findings were:

  • Drug-related policing expenditure and activity is expected to decrease and there is a perception that it is faring worse than other police activities.
  • Proactive work related to the detection of drug supply is expected to decrease. Activities such as covert surveillance, test purchasing and other intelligence gathering work were most often mentioned as likely to decrease. This may have an impact on the police's ability to monitor the drug problem in their area and to contribute to broader initiatives such as Street Level Up.
  • Those drug-related activities that appear likely to increase are ones, such as asset forfeiture, that could contribute to income.
  • Uncertainty about partner agencies is high and less partnership working and work with community groups is expected. This is of concern given the evidence of the importance of partnership working and community engagement for effective drug-related policing.[188]

154. The survey was completed by officers based upon their own experiences meaning that it is anecdotal rather than statistical evidence. However, there appears to be real concern that if some activities are curtailed, it could significantly impact on the ability of police forces to restrict supply effectively. The survey highlighted several specific areas:

The drug-related activities that were most often mentioned as likely to decrease were mainly those that relate to intelligence and evidence-gathering around drug supply. For instance, around half of all survey respondents expected their level of drug test purchasing activities to decrease: 45% of forces and 49% of BCUs reported that this would either 'decrease a little' or experience a 'major decrease'. Alongside this, 44% of force-level respondents expected their level of drug-related forensic testing to reduce, while over a third of all respondents (38% of forces and 37% of BCUs) said that they expected their drug-related covert surveillance to decrease. Over a quarter of force respondents (27%), and 25% of BCU respondents, expected the use of drug dogs to decrease.[189]

155. All of these activities provide information to produce a wider picture of drug use and activity. The annual publication of drug seizures in November 2011 highlighted one case where this had already happened as the new system used to record drug seizures by Merseyside Police resulted in the force recording 1,797 seizures in 2010-11, an 86 %decrease on the number recorded during the previous year (12,946 seizures). The total number for England and Wales excluding Merseyside's seizures was 207,033 in 2010-11 compared to 207,507 in 2009/10, a decrease of 0.2 per cent.[190]

156. Financial constraints on the police are not a new phenomena - a recent publication based on interviews with officers working in drug policing gave several examples of the impact of budgetary concerns.

"We would be discouraged by our bosses from arresting someone towards the end of the day because of the overtime factor. And dealers are often aware of that" ... Officers who carry out a drug-dealing arrest must complete the process back at the station themselves rather than hand it over to a colleague working a later shift. "We spot a user buying a few bags of heroin from a dealer and we grab them both. That would take five officers - two taking out the dealer, two on the user and one doing the surveillance. We would need the user because he holds the vital evidence of the sale. If you arrest two people at 2 p.m. then most of you will be busy until 10 p.m. It's a lot of overtime."[191]

Another officers gave a similar example

"A straightforward job can take hours for all the officers involved and so arrests late in the day are avoided" says the officer "But, by the end of the financial year in March, it's all about spending money: our bosses are desperate to get rid of any under spend. There is usually a feeding frenzy in March by officers in my force fighting for overtime."[192]

157. Drug-related policing is a vital component of reducing supply and the intelligence aspect, whether it be data on supply routes, the trend in available products or the location of markets, assists not just local police forces but other law enforcement agencies. Following the election of Police and Crime Commissioners, the use of police budgets will be decided with increased community input and local accountability. There is a risk that significant variations in the local approach to drugs could lead to geographical displacement of the drugs trade within the UK. Commissioners will therefore need to be fully briefed on the wider impact of decisions which they might take locally. We recommend that the National Crime Agency submit to every Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable an annual, confidential briefing setting out the measures they could take to contribute to disrupting the drugs trade nationally and internationally.

158. Police time is always limited and needs to be carefully prioritised to have the most impact. As budgets get tighter going forward this situation will intensify. It is important that Police Commissioners carefully consider how best to target drugs crime in their local area. In particular, we encourage Police Commissioners to ensure they are fully informed about the relative effectiveness of different forms of drug-related policing, including cannabis warnings and other forms of diversion work, and to carefully consider the issue of how police time is best prioritised between different kinds of drug-related offences, whether simple possession, acquisitive crime, supply or trafficking.

Identifying drug-related crime

159. There are three types of drug-related crime: crime which results from the intoxication and disinhibition effects of the drugs on the user; crime committed to fund the purchase of drugs: and crime related to drug markets and distribution.[193] Identifying the levels of drug related crime is vital to ensure that those that commit offences as a result of drug dependence are treated for that dependence rather than simply incarcerated because without addressing the dependence, incarceration alone is unlikely to be an effective deterrent to an addict and the cycle of addiction and drug-related reoffending will not be broken. In 2003-04, the Home Office estimated that £13.9 billion is the annual cost of drug-related offending (mainly acquisitive crimes committed by problem drug users such as theft and burglary). Of the £13.9 billion, £9.9 billion are the costs to the victims of these crimes and £4.0 billion are the costs incurred by the criminal justice system.[194]


160. The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) was introduced in April 2003 with the aim of developing and integrating measures for directing adult drug-misusing offenders into drug treatment and reducing offending behaviour. The Drug Interventions Programme identifies offenders using Class A drugs as they go through the criminal justice system and puts into action a range of interventions to deal with their behaviour, with the aim of getting them out of crime and into treatment and other support. This begins at an offender's first point of contact with the criminal justice system (at which point a drug test is undertaken). Following a positive test, the individual then continues through the journey that can include custody, court, sentence, treatment and beyond into resettlement.

161. In April 2005 Testing on Arrest was introduced as part of DIP. The police gained this power as part of the Drugs Act 2005. Previously the police could test individuals on charge only. This change increased the number of individuals that could be tested (many of those arrested are not charged) and gave the police a greater chance of identifying offenders who were using drugs. It has several constraints in terms of providing data about the extent of drug-related crime: drug testing only applies to those aged 18 years or over and those tested are only tested for cocaine and heroin use. Also, not all areas undertake testing on arrest and it was introduced in different areas at different times. Within geographical areas that operate the 'Intensive' Drug Interventions Programme, all offenders arrested for certain types of offences are routinely tested for opiates and cocaine metabolites. Those arrested for other offender types may also be tested, at the discretion of a senior police officer.


162. As part of the evaluation of dedicated drug courts, the offences tried in drug courts were recorded and the results are attached below. In 40% of the cases heard by the drug courts, the offence was theft. The next most common offence was possession of Class A drugs accounted for 8% of cases.
Distribution of offence types recorded by pilot site (column percentage) *
Offence code Barnsley Bristol Cardiff Leeds Salford West London Total
Theft201(20%) 299(64%) 223(46%) 274(45%)102(47%) 37(55%)1136(40%)
Possession Class B drugs 139(14%)7(2%) 30(6)4(1%) 18(8%)1(1%) 199(7%)
Possession Class C drugs 110(11%)4(1%) 13(3%)6(1%) 15(7%)0(0%) 148(5%)
Possession Class A drugs 89(9%)8(2%) 67(14%)38(6%) 12(6%)12(18%) 226(8%)
Cultivating Cannabis 93(9%)0(0%) 2(0%)5(1%) 8(4%)0(0%) 108(4%)
Other82(8%) 22(5%)10(2%) 87(14%)23(11%) 3(4%)226(8%)
Possessions any class of drug with intent to supply 41(4%)0(0%) 0(0%)3(1%) 0(0%)0(0%) 44(2%)
Driving Offences 39(4%) 13(3%)27(6%) 6(1%)6(3%) 1(1%)92(3%)
Possession of controlled drug with intent to supply 39(4%)0(0%) 9(2%)3(1%) 0(0%)0(0%) 51(2%)
Breach of Community Order 30(3%)0(0%) 6(1%)120(20%) 3(1%)2(3%) 161(6%)
Fraud29(3%) 5(1%)1(0%) 5(1%)7(3%) 1(1%)47(2%)
Fail to Surrender22(2%) 47(10%)41(8%) 3(1%)0(0%) 5(7%)118(4%)
Burglary17(2%) 9(2%)13(3%) 21(3%)3(1%) 2(3%)65(2%)
Criminal Damage14(1%) 3(1%)6(1%) 4(1%)7(3%) 0(0%)34(1%)

P45, The Dedicated Drug Courts Pilot Evaluation Process Study, Ministry of Justice, January 2011 * Concerns over the quality of data collected means that caution should be exercised with this set of findings.

163. Identifying drug-related crime is vital in order to ensure that the right approaches to reduce re-offending are targeted and effective. Drug-dependent offenders are often prolific re-offenders—by identifying their prevalence, the Government and local authorities can make targeted interventions in the community.

New psychoactive substances

164. New psychoactive substances (often referred to as 'Legal Highs') are drugs which are not classified under the Misuse Of Drugs Act 1974, having been newly manufactured in order to bypass traditional controls. These drugs are available to purchase in outlets (known as 'head shops' or 'smart shops') and on the internet and, as they are labelled 'not for human consumption' there are no controls or regulations placed upon them. Probably the most well-known new psychoactive substance (NPS) is Mephedrone which was widely reported upon in the UK media in March 2010 following several deaths which were suspected to be associated with substance. Since then, many more substances have been marketed as 'legal highs'—in Europe there were 41 new substances discovered in 2010. In 2011, UK police discovered a new substance almost once a week on average.[195]

165. The prevalence of these NPSs led the Government to introduce a 'Temporary Class Drug Order' which allowed them to temporarily ban a drug for 12 months whilst the ACMD examine the drug to decide whether it should be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Importation, exportation, production and supply of a drug placed under a Temporary Class Drug Order is illegal but possession is not. After the 12 month period expires, the drug must either be classified or the temporary order is revoked. The first Temporary Class Drug Order was introduced in March 2012, to control a substance known as 'Mexxy'. On the 1 November 2012, the Home Office announced that 'Mexxy' was classified as a Class B drug. The scale of the problem however has led many to question whether Temporary Class Drug Orders are a suitable solution. The Angelus Foundation told us that

The Misuse of Drugs Act is not equipped to deal with such rapid change in the drugs landscape and research on Mephedrone prevalence shows simply illegalising a drug does not reduce prevalence and harms. Temporary Orders are simply a stop-gap for that out-dated process.[196]

166. Mephedrone, which was banned in April 2010, was registered as the joint-third most-prevalent drug used by 16-24 year olds in the most recent Drug Misuse Declared survey.[197] The number of deaths recorded as being caused by Mephedrone actually rose after the ban, from 5 in 2009 to 29 in 2010[198] (the latest year for which we have data available). In fact, although there were reports of its use from 2009, it did not become widely used until the media reports started in 2010.[199] When ACPO submitted evidence to us, it described the situation surrounding NPSs.

The feedback from police forces is that legal highs are readily available across the country and there is considerable uncertainty, some would say confusion, as to the nature and status of such substances and the risks associated with their use. There is also strong anecdotal evidence of poly-drug use. It must be assumed that this ready availability will continue for the foreseeable future. ACPO Drugs Committee is of the opinion that these substances present the most significant challenge to existing legislation and the Government's Drug Strategy.[200]

167. The traditional approach of the UK police to combating drug use is tackling the criminals involved in drug trafficking and drug dealing and taking a less harsh 'deterrent/diversion' approach to instances of personal possession. This approach does not work with new psychoactive substances for several reasons:

  • The speed with which new substances are being produced and made available
  • The use of the internet and retail outlets such as 'head shops' to supply these substances
  • The use of social networking to spread news about such substances and to promote their use. Instances have been seen of party invitations circulating on smart-phones including an embedded internet link to a supplier of legal highs.[201]

168. ACPO stated that "the problems caused by new psychoactive substances are different to the issues caused by conventional illegal drugs and so police officers have little comparable experience." Instead of treating NPSs as a conventional illicit drug, ACPO suggested that legislation aimed at those who sell the substances in 'Head Shops' might allow them to reduce supply.

The combination of budget pressure and substantial and ongoing changes to the provision of forensic services means that it is most unlikely that unidentified substances such as legal highs will be sent off for analysis. Consequently information with regards to these substances and potential intelligence will not be routinely available. The practical problems are predictable. Operational officers report that some Head Shops appear to exploit the letter of the law by deliberately mislabelling substances and misrepresenting their use and purpose. They are labelled variously as plant food, bath salts, pond cleaner, room odorises or 'research' chemicals. They continue this pretence by adding the warning - 'Not for Human Consumption', which is designed primarily to protect them from the Medicines Act and Food Labelling Regulations. [202]

ACPO accepted that some 'Head Shop' proprietors may not know exactly what the chemical ingredients of the substances they are selling are, but contend that "they do know exactly what they are intended for - e.g. to be consumed by users to mimic the stimulant effects of an illicit drug, e.g. cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamine. Why else would a user pay £20 per gram for plant food?"[203] ACPO suggests that consideration should be given to the Head Shop owner being made accountable for all the products they sell and to be potentially liable for any subsequent harm or injury they may cause to a purchaser or user of the product. Although in general they are unlicensed, some forces have worked in partnership with Local Authorities (regarding by-laws) and Trading Standards departments (regarding consumer legislation) in an attempt to bring some form of control to this area of business. ACPO suggest that legislation could be passed to control these by drafting legislation similar to that which controls sex shops, betting offices and other licensed premises.[204]

169. Another alternative method of dealing with the situation was developed in New Zealand which also had high levels of NPSs from the mid-2000s. Rather than try to classify these substances within existing drug law, the Government asked the New Zealand Law Commission to review their drug laws. The Commission proposed that whilst the existing drug laws stand, the Government take a different approach to the regulation of new drugs. A new regulatory regime

would require manufacturers and importers of a new substance to obtain an approval for a substance before releasing it onto the market, based on trials that find it to pose a 'low risk'." A new independent regulatory authority would determine applications for approvals. If the regulator decided that a substance was so harmful that it should not be approved, the regulator would refer the substance on to be considered for inclusion in the prohibited drugs regime. Prohibition would also be considered if the regulatory regime proved to be ineffective in minimising the harm of a regulated drug.[205]

170. The market in new psychoactive substances is changing quickly, too quickly for the current system of temporary banning orders to keep up. Forty-nine new substances were found in Europe last year, a rate of development which makes additional measures critical. At the moment, businesses are legally able to sell these products until such time as they are banned with apparently no legal consequences when they lead to death or long-term illness. We recommend that the Government issue guidance to Local Authority trading standards departments, citizens advice bureaux and other interested parties on the action which might be taken under existing trading standards and consumer protection legislation to tackle the sale of these untested substances. A restaurant which gave its diners food poisoning, a garage which left cars in a dangerous state, or a shop which sold dangerously defective goods could all be prosecuted for their negligence. Retailers who sell untested psychoactive substances must be liable for any harm the products they have sold cause. It is unacceptable that retailers should be able to use false descriptions and disclaimers such as "plant food" and "not for human consumption" as a defence where it is clear to all concerned that the substance is being sold for its psychoactive properties and the law should be amended.

Use of the internet

171. The internet is not only facilitating access to new psychoactive substances, there is also evidence that illicit drugs are being purchased via the world wide web. [206] In the past year or so there have been several press reports in the US and UK about websites selling illegal drugs. The American website Gawker reported in June 2011 on a website called 'Silk Road' which it described as "Amazon - if Amazon sold mind-altering chemicals."[207] It interviewed a software developer who had purchased 10 tabs of LSD using bitcoins—an electronic currency which is used legitimately by online gamers, but which can be used by criminals to mask their financial transactions. It is a peer-to-peer currency which is supposedly untraceable, not issued by banks or governments, but created and regulated by a network of other bitcoin holders' computers. The author described a selection of the items available for purchase on Silk Road as including cannabis, ecstasy, LSD and heroin.[208]

172. More recently, BBC 5Live reported on a network known as 'Dark Web' an online black market which sells drugs, fake passports, guns and child pornography. It allows users to remain anonymous. Users often do not know the real identity of the fellow users they are dealing with, and it is difficult for authorities to track them. Dark Web also uses bitcoins as currency. The researchers at the BBC ordered DMT, a Class A drug via Dark Web which arrived three weeks later which contained a white powder concealed between two thin strips of cardboard. Analytical Services International, at St George's University of London examined the drugs and found that the powder was DMT.[209]

A 2012 publication which looked at the prevalence of drug dealing on the internet stated that

The internet is transforming the drug industry. ... Free from the threat of violence that pervades the street market, buyers and sellers feel safe cloaked by anonymous usernames, protected from the authorities by readily available encryption software. ... The online drug market accounts for only a fraction of drug sales worldwide. It is a trade in its infancy. But it has opened a door to a completely new way of buying and selling drugs that renders existing enforcement efforts, designed to combat the traditional drug smuggling and distribution system, irrelevant. ... The fluidity of the internet, and the privacy it provides, making policing the online drug trade even more of a 'needle in a haystack' exercise than searching freight.[210]

The effect of having a drugs conviction

173. Whilst there are no professions which automatically bar someone with a drugs-related conviction or caution, the Independent Safeguarding Authority can assess people with convictions before allowing them to work with children or vulnerable adults. Anyone with a conviction for supplying drugs to children, for instance, would be barred from working in a profession whereby they came in to regular contact with children.[211]

174. In most other professions, under the terms of Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, whether or not a conviction or caution is disclosed to a potential future employer depends whether it is 'spent' or 'unspent'. An unspent conviction or caution must be disclosed whereas a spent conviction or caution does not need to be. A spent conviction is a conviction which can be effectively ignored after a specified amount of time (between five and ten years, depending of the length of the sentence) and so does not need to be disclosed. A conviction which results in a sentence for longer than 30 months can never become spent. A simple caution becomes spent as soon as it is given and a conditional caution becomes spent three months from the date on which it was given.[212]

175. There are however professions which are exempt the under Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1975 and so require disclosure of both spent and unspent convictions:

  • Healthcare Professional - A person who is regulated by a body mentioned in subsection (3) of section 25 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002.
  • Barrister (in England and Wales), solicitor.
  • Chartered accountant, certified accountant.
  • Veterinary surgeon
  • Actuary
  • Registered foreign lawyer
  • Legal executive
  • Receiver appointed by the Court of Protection.[213]

176. According to NACRO, from which we commissioned research into the effects of a drug-related conviction on employment,

an individual would not necessarily be restricted from employment in an exempt profession for having a conviction for possession of Class A or B drugs, even in professions which involve the individual having unrestricted access to prescription drugs.

In addition, our research confirmed that an individual would not necessarily be prevented from applying to other professions which require the applicant to have a higher level of personal integrity including working as an MP or local councillor, working in the security services or for the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The only role we could identify where an individual would automatically be barred for having a conviction for possession of Class A or B drugs is the newly created Police Crime and Commissioner role.[214]

The security services will often require any drug use to have been prior to service however. The Ministry of Defence document 'Drugs in the Armed Forces' explains the MOD's approach to previous drugs convictions:

Because of the prevalence of drug misuse in society generally, a previous episode of drug misuse without aggravating circumstances (e.g. an unspent criminal conviction) would not necessarily prevent an individual from being recruited into the Armed Forces. However, all individuals are required to read and sign that they have understood the Services' policy on drugs in the recruiting office. They also receive a briefing on Service policy during initial training and become liable for Compulsory Drugs Testing (CDT) after the first 6 weeks of training.

Evidence of drug misuse, on or off-duty, by serving personnel would normally result in Discharge Services No Longer Required, which is a dishonourable discharge and precludes returning to employment in the Armed Forces at a later date.[215]

177. NACRO also highlighted concerns that many organisations routinely carry out enhanced CRB checks (which detail spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings) even though the position is not eligible for these checks under the under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1975. Their research shows that these unlawful checks often have an extremely negative impact upon an individual's ability to obtain employment and that many employers "routinely withdraw job offers once they receive a CRB certificate detailing a conviction, even when the applicant has already disclosed their criminal record during the recruitment process. In addition, many employers operate a clean CRB policy, will not accept applicants with any information on their record and will not take into account any other factors such as: the disposal issued; the length of time that has elapsed since the conviction; mitigating circumstances; or the person's employment record before and after the conviction."[216] Their research also shows that many employers will not knowingly consider employing an applicant with a conviction, and nearly 50% of employers would not employ an individual with a drug-related conviction.[217]

178. We believe that former drug users should be encouraged to play an active part in society, and that making it harder for them to find employment is likely to hinder that process, and make it more likely they will be unemployed and supported by the state. We therefore recommend that the Government review the inclusion of convictions for offences of simple possession of a controlled substance (as opposed to offences relating to supply, or any other drug-related crime such as burglary) in CRB checks after they become spent, or after three years, whichever is shorter. The review should, in particular, take account of those areas of employment to which drugs convictions are directly relevant. We also recommend that cannabis warnings be treated as spent immediately.

Cross-Departmental strategy

179. The responsibility for drugs policy lies within the Home Office in the UK although that has not always been the case—between 1994 and 2002, drugs policy was under the purview of the Lord President of the Council (the senior Cabinet Office Minister). In 2007, the RSA recommended that responsibility for drug policy be moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government.[218] The Home Office lead on drugs policy is unique in Europe as the chart below shows.
Country Ministry of Health Home/Interior Ministry Other Ministry
Belgium X - General Drugs Policy Cell (Operates at Inter-Ministerial level but coordinated by the national drug coordinator and supported by the Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
Bulgaria X - National Drugs Council (Operates at the inter-ministerial level. Chaired by the Minister of Health, the Council includes three deputy chairpersons (the Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior, the deputy chairperson of the State Agency for National Security and a Deputy Minister of Justice), a secretary and 24 members.)
Cyprus X - The Cyprus Anti-Drugs Council (Formerly presided by the Minister of Health, since 2010 the Council has been presided by the CAC President, who is effectively a national drugs coordinator appointed directly by the President of the Republic, and has the Chairperson of the Cyprus Youth Board as Vice-President. The other members are seven experts nominated by the Council of Ministers).
Czech Republic X - The Government Council for Drug Policy Coordination. (Presided over by the Prime Minister, the Council includes all ministries involved in the delivery of the national drug policy and three representatives of civil society respective regions (Czech Medical Association — Association for Addictive Diseases, Association of NGOs dealing with drug prevention and treatment, and Association of the Regions).
Estonia X - Minister of Social Affairs
Finland X - National Drug Policy Coordination Group (composed of representatives from all involved Ministries and is reappointed every four years).
France X - The Inter-ministerial Committee on Drugs (The committee is placed under the authority of the Prime Minister and is composed of ministers and state secretaries. The Inter-ministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction (Mission interministérielle de lutte contre la drogue et la toxicomanie, MILDT) prepares, coordinates and partly implements the decisions of the committee.)
Greece X - National Committee for the Coordination and Planning of Drugs Responses (comprised of representatives from 10 Ministries. The work of the National Committee is coordinated by the Greek Organisation Against Drugs (OKANA).)
Hungary X - Coordination Committee on Drug Affairs (CCDA).( Chaired by the Secretary of State for Social, Family and Youth Affairs).
Italy X - The Department for Anti-drug Policies is tasked with the day-to-day operational coordination of Italian drug policy and is placed under the competency of the Minister for International Cooperation and Integration. Coordination at the regional level is undertaken through the regional office for drugs and drug addiction within either the Health or Social Policy Department.
Latvia X - The Drug Control and Drug Addiction Restriction Coordination Council (Chaired by the Prime Minister and comprised of seven ministers and several national experts).
Lithuania X - Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department
LuxembourgX - in conjunction with the inter-Ministerial Committee on Drugs
Malta X - Ministry for Justice, Dialogue and the Family
Netherlands X - The Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport is tasked with the coordination of drug policy, while the Ministry of Security and Justice is responsible for law enforcement and matters relating to local government and the police. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of certain issues, including matters relating to HIV/AIDS and injecting drug use on behalf of the Government at the international level.
Poland X - Council for Counteracting Drug Addiction (Chaired by the Secretary or the Undersecretary of State in the office where a minister competent for health matters operates).
Romania X - National Anti-drug Agency
Slovakia X - Ministerial Council (Headed by the Prime Minister, the Council includes representatives from all Government Ministries.)
Slovenia X - Government Commission for Drugs of the Republic of Slovenia. (The Commission includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The administrative work of the Commission is performed by the Ministry of Health.)
Spain X - Inter-ministerial Group, chaired by the Minister for Health, Social Policy and Equality, and including the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Justice, the Interior, Education, Work and Immigration and Territorial Policy and Public Administration, as well as several Secretaries of State.
United Kingdom X - Supported by Inter-Ministerial Group which is chaired by the Home office and includes Ministers from the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Education, the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office
Total9 117

Collated from the EMCDDA website by Committee staff. Accessed September 2012.

180. In the US drug policy is co-ordinated by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It advises the President on drug-control issues, coordinates drug-control activities and related funding across the Federal government, and produces the annual National Drug Control Strategy, which outlines Administration efforts to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.[219] In Australia, the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) is a Commonwealth, state and territory government forum of senior officers who represent health and law enforcement agencies in each Australian jurisdiction and in New Zealand, as well as representatives of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The committee provides policy advice to relevant ministers on drug-related matters, and is responsible for implementing policies and programs under the National Drug Strategy framework.[220]

181. Whilst discussing where drug policy should lie within Government, the recent UKDPC report concluded that they could find little concrete evidence that different departmental leadership delivers different outcomes. Instead, they found that the quality of the leadership was probably more important than which Secretary of State had responsibility for coordination and leadership. The report highlighted the view that without the strong influence of the Home Office and their overriding interest in reducing crime, efforts to expand drug treatment and recovery services would never have happened as the Secretary of State for the Department of Health will "always have other and more pressing priorities."[221]

182. Throughout the report, we have demonstrated the importance of the various different government departments involved in the 2010 drug strategy not only playing their own roles effectively but also working well together. Cross-departmental working is not historically a strength of the British Government although we are assured that this is changing over time with Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP stating,

what has improved is the co-ordination between Departments. I was once given the thankless task of co-ordinating the Government's whole approach to drugs, and pulling together the work of the different Departments in the late 1980s. It was a complete waste of time. I did not have sufficient seniority in the Government to get anybody to take the faintest notice of me, and they merely thought it was a bid by my Department to muscle in on the territory of either the Home Office or the Health Department or whatever. That has not vanished but it is very, very much less than it used to be.[222]

Some of this cross-departmental working will be implemented through the inter-ministerial group on drugs, chaired by Jeremy Browne MP. A former civil servant who now works with the Angelus Foundation recently published criticism of the inter-ministerial group, describing it as

a woefully inadequate decision-making body, which I attended as an official. Departments often do not send representatives which underlines the lack of a co-ordinated approach. It was not a business-like forum, the tone was more like, "so, tell us what have you've been up to lately?" There is an absence of transparency about the committee—there are no minutes available and it is not even mentioned in the drug strategy document.[223]

183. Tackling drug use touches on issues of criminal justice, social justice, education, health and local authorities, which is why the formation of an Inter-Ministerial Group to coordinate Government policy on the subject makes sense. However, as with any other cross-departmental challenge, driving through reform requires clear, senior leadership. Our recommendation for the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Health to take joint overall responsibility for drugs policy will help to strengthen inter-departmental co-operation, with a focus on prevention and public health.

156   Babor et al, Drug Policy and the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 2010), p 173 Back

157   Home Office, Drug Misuse Declared: Findings from the 2011-12 Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2nd edition (July 2012), p 9 Back

158   UK Drug Policy Commission (Oct 2012), p 152 Back

159   Ev w9 Back

160   Ev w194 Back

161   Ev 142 Back

162   Science and Technology Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2005-06, Drug Classification: Making a hash of it?, (HC 1031), para 106 Back

163   Home Affairs Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2009-10,The Cocaine Trade, (HC 74), para 24 Back

164   Home Office. The Cocaine Trade. The Government reply to the 7th Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Session 2009-10, HCP 74. July 2010. (Cm 7910), p 3 Back

165   Q516 Back

166   Q515 Back

167   Q520 Back

168   Serious Organised Crime Agency, Annual report 2011-12, (July 2012) p 10 Back

169   Babor et al, Drug Policy and the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 2010), p 141 Back

170   Home Office, Seizures of drugs in England and Wales 2011-12, ( November 2012) Back

171   United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report (2012), p 60 Back

172   Max Daly & Steve Sampson, Narcomania: A Journey Through Britain's Drug World (2012), p 171 Back

173   http://www.soca.gov.uk/about-soca/how-we-work/asset-recovery Back

174   Serious Organised Crime Agency, SARs Annual Report (2011), p 10 Back

175   Financial Services Authority, Banks' management of high money-laundering risk situations (June 2011), p 4-5 Back

176   Ibid, p 32 Back

177   Financial Services Authority, Banks' management of high money-laundering risk situations (June 2011), p 32 Back

178   Q552 Back

179   Q567 Back

180   Q562 Back

181   Executive Intelligence Review, Former UNODC Head Talks about Drugs in the World Banking System, (April 2012) Accessed November 2012: http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2012/3917costa_drugs_banks.html Back

182   Q549 Back

183   Max Daly & Steve Sampson, Narcomania: A Journey Through Britain's Drug World (2012), p 192-193 Back

184   Q569 Back

185   UNODC Estimating illicit financial flows resulting from drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime, (September 2012), p 7 Back

186   WWF Founders' Memorial Lecture (5 November 2003) Back

187   Q568 Back

188   UK Drug Policy Commission, Drug enforcement in the age of austerity (2011) Back

189   UK Drug Policy Commission, Drug enforcement in the age of austerity (2011) Back

190   Home Office, Seizures of drugs in England and Wales 2010/11, Home Office, (November 2011), p 9 Back

191   Max Daly & Steve Sampson, Narcomania: A Journey Through Britain's Drug World (William Heinemann 2012), p 158 Back

192   Max Daly & Steve Sampson, Narcomania: A Journey Through Britain's Drug World (William Heinemann 2012), p 159 Back

193   Babor et al, Drug Policy and the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 2010), p 78 Back

194   Home Office, Measuring different aspects of problem drug use: methodological developments, (November 2006), p 43 Back

195   The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Report (2012), p 89 Back

196   Ev 142 Back

197   P17, 2011-12 Back

198   NSPAD, Annual report (2010), p 95 Back

199   Prof. David Nutt, Drugs without the hot air, UIT Cambridge, (2012) P115 Back

200   Ev 179 Back

201   Ev 180 Back

202   Ev 180 Back

203   Ev 180 Back

204   Ibid Back

205   UK Drug Policy Commission, A fresh approach to drugs (2012), p 136 Back

206   UK Drug Policy Commission, A fresh approach to drugs (2012), p 30 Back

207   http://gawker.com/5805928/the-underground-website-where-you-can-buy-any-drug-imaginable Back

208   Ibid Back

209   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16801382 Back

210   Max Daly & Steve Sampson, Narcomania: A Journey Through Britain's Drug World (William Heinemann 2012), p 129 Back

211   Information supplied by the House of Commons Library Back

212   Information supplied by the House of Commons Library Back

213   http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/agencies-public-bodies/CRB/about-the-crb/eligible-positions-guide?view=Binary Back

214   Ev w381 Back

215   Ministry of Defence, Drugs in the Armed Forces (accessed 09 October 2012), p 1 http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B4247457-89A9-4F34-8EF0-8462544DE7F5/0/drugs_armedforces.pdf Back

216   Ev w381  Back

217   Ev w380 Back

218   RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs , Drugs - facing facts ( Communities and Public Policy 2007) Back

219   http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/about Back

220   Australian Government. National Drug Strategy 2010-2015, p24 Back

221   UK Drug Policy Commission, A fresh approach to drugs (2012), p 138 Back

222   Q416 Back

223   http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2012/03/20/jeremy-sare-on-the-french-drugs-model/ Back

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Prepared 10 December 2012