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
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. DOES EXISTING
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
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.
2.4.1 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
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
3. THE EFFECT
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
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.
4. DRUG TREATMENT
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. ROLE OF
UK ANTI DRUGS
5.1 DATs members were surprised at the new
role for the National Co-ordinator and transfer of UKADCU to the
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
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.