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Paper 12 - 24 November 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

24 November 2000

ANTI-DRUGS POLICY - REGIONAL MEETING WITH THE UK CO-ORDINATOR

Background note by the Policy Manager

1. Keith Hellawell, QPM, the UK anti-Drugs Co-ordinator, is carrying out a series of regional meetings with local authorities. He is seeking to speak directly with senior local government members and officers, and he anticipates the meeting might take 90 minutes.

2. The boundaries of Drug Action Teams become co-terminous with County and Unitary Authority boundaries from 1 April 2001. Keith Hellawell writes:

" Local authority leadership in delivering the local response is essential. I want to share with you the objectives set out by government, and to explore how the wide range of services, partnerships and networks that exist within local communities can be harnessed. I am particularly aware of the changes going on in the governance of local authorities and the potential for greater involvement, at the strategic level, by councillors.

I am grateful for the continuing support of the LGA in supporting the drugs strategy and look forward to a profitable dialogue".

2. As background information, the press release publicising Keith Hellawell’s second annual report is attached.

NICK GOULDER 
Policy Manager

Date: 10 November 2000
Annex: 1
Contact: Nick Goulder - 023 8068 8431, E-mail hiowlang@hants.gov.uk

ANNEX

ANTI-DRUGS POLICY - PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CABINET OFFICE -

7  November 2000

NEW REPORT REVEALS SUCCESSES OF GOVERNMENT ANTI-DRUGS POLICIES – PRIME MINISTER

Prime Minister Tony Blair today praised the "tremendous work being done" by front line workers to push forward the government’s 10-year anti-drugs strategy

The 2nd Annual Report of the Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator Keith Hellawell, released today, underlines the success of the policies in anti-drugs education, rehabilitation and drugs seizures with most of the tough annual targets met.

Mr Blair said: "In education we now have 93% of secondary and 75% of primary schools with a drug education policy, up from 86% of secondary and 61% of primary in 1997. This is crucial in keeping our children aware of the dangers of substance abuse.

"Also Class A drugs with a value of £1.2 billion were prevented from reaching our streets – an increase of 33.5% on the previous year – and there was an increase of 9.2% in the number of Class A trafficking groups disrupted - nearly double the target.

"There is tremendous work being done out there by teachers, law enforcement agencies and others working together on treatment and rehabilitation. I would like to thank all those working on the front line for their commitment and dedication."

Minister for the Cabinet Office Dr Mo Mowlam said: "There has been a steady expansion of drug education in schools and targeted drug prevention programmes focusing on young people at risk. We are looking at ways of improving the way we communicate messages about drugs to young people and parents.

"Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett today announced that spending on anti-drugs education in schools will rise from £7.5 million this year to £17.5 million in 2003-4, a 133% increase. This will greatly help in achieving the aim of keeping more of our children off drugs.

"The numbers of drug misusers receiving treatment continues to rise and we are stepping up our efforts to drive down treatment waiting times and reduce the numbers of misusers who inject drugs."

Dr Mowlam, who has been taking part in crucial anti-cocaine initiatives with the Columbian government, added: "The Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator Keith Hellawell and I have been working closely with other many other countries on large-scale detection and seizure of hard drugs at the sites of processing and on the routes into the UK."

Keith Hellawell added: "When in 1998 we launched our ten year Strategy, Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain, I knew we had a challenging task ahead. We set tough targets across all aspects of the drugs problem by 2008 including:

* halving the numbers of young people using illegal drugs, especially heroin and cocaine;

* halving the levels of re-offending by drug misusing offenders to protect our communities from drug related anti social and criminal behaviour;

* doubling the numbers of drug misusers in treatment; and

* halving the availability of drugs especially heroin and cocaine on our streets.

"I am pleased that in this second Annual Report, we can see that progress has been made. We have met most of our annual targets and are on track for our targets for 2002

"As the Prime Minister said today we are tackling the availability of drugs through improved co-ordination and focused targeting and our law enforcement agencies are continuing to seize more class A drugs and preventing them from reaching our streets. We have also seized £15 million of convicted drug dealer assets which will now be used to fund community projects and help people to rebuild their lives. "

We are expanding our probation and court referral schemes by the rollout across England and Wales of Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs). The Prison Service CARATS (counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare) programme for drug misusers is now available in every prison in England and Wales."

Drug misuse costs Britain over £4 billion per year in crime, sickness and absenteeism. Some third of all property crime is related to drugs. Nearly half of all 16 year olds have tried drugs at least once. Although overall drug misuse among young people appears to be rising at a slower rate or levelling out there is clearly more to do to drive down levels of drug misuse.

Mr Hellawell stressed :" We must continue to build on and drive forward our programmes of work under the four key aims of the Strategy if we are to meet our challenging targets for 2008 and make a lasting and sustainable difference to the harm caused by drug misuse."

1. This is the second annual report published under the Government’s Ten Year Strategy launched in 1998: Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain. It reports on progress during 1999/2000, illustrating how the targets set out in the First Annual Report and National Plan have been taken forward. The Second National Plan setting out targets and plans for 2000/2001 was published in July 2000.

2. The Ten Year strategy contains four key aims each of which has a key performance target:

Young People: to help young people resist drug misuse in order to achieve their full potential in society.

Key performance target: to reduce the proportion of young people under the age of 25 reporting use of illegal drugs in the last month and previous year substantially and to reduce the proportion using the drugs which cause the greatest harm – heroin and cocaine – by 25% by 2005 and by 50% by 2008.

Communities: to protect our communities from drug-related anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Key performance target: reduce levels of repeat offending amongst drug misusing offenders by 25% by 2005 and by 50% by 2008.

Treatment: to enable people with drug problems to overcome them and live healthy and crime-free lives

Key performance target: to increase participation of problem drug misusers, including prisoners, in drug treatment programmes which have a positive impact on health and crime by 66% by 2005 and by 100% by 2008.

Availability: to stifle the availability of illegal drugs on our streets.

Key performance target: to reduce access to all drugs amongst young people (under 25) significantly and to reduce access to the drugs which cause the greatest harm, particularly heroin and cocaine, by 25% by 2005 and by 50% by 2008.

3. The Government sets and monitors annual and three year targets to support the above key performance targets and publishes annual plans and reports on progress.

4. The recent Spending Review for the three years 2001/2 to 2003/4 provided additional funds to drive forward the Strategy: expenditure will increase from some £700m in 2000/2001 to £870m in 2001/2, £931m in 2002/3 and £996m in 2003/4. This represents a major new investment in resources to underpin delivery of the Government’s challenging ten year targets for tackling drug misuse.

 

£ million

 

2000-01*

 

2001-02

 

2002-03

 

2003-04

 

Drug Treatment

Protecting Young People

Safeguarding Communities

Reducing Availability**

 

234

63

45

353

 

328

90

79

373

 

377

97

81

376

 

401

120

95

380

 

TOTAL

 

695

 

870

 

931

 

996

 

* Funds in Departmental Expenditure Limit (proactive spend identified by the Review – existing spending totals are indicative)

** 2001-02 to 2003-04 based on projected anti drugs allocation from anti Organised Crime shared funding

5. Key recommendations from the Review, which the Government will be implementing include:

* Extra provision for drug treatment over the next three years;

* More resources for community-based prevention work and more effective coordination;

* Enhanced collective arrangements for making best use of intelligence in assessing the drugs threat;

* A Strategic Planning Board to support Ministers and underpin delivery by Departments;

* At regional level a strengthened Drugs Prevention Advisory Service;

* At local level, flexibility for Drug Action Teams and better coordination with local authorities.

6. The National Drugs Helpline number is 0800 776600.

Last update: 23/11/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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