COMMONS

Issues faced by police in tackling illicit drugs scrutinised

drugs
06 July 2012

Tuesday 10 July 2012 at 11.00 am
Venue: The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

This is the Home Affairs Select Committee’s seventh evidence session in the inquiry into drugs policy. The inquiry, which has received numerous written evidence submissions from organisations and members of the public, is intended to be a comprehensive review of drugs policy.

The first panel will be Danny Kushlick of Transform and Niamh Eastwood of Release. The Committee will question them about the alternatives to prohibition. Transform advocate for legalisation, regulating drug production, supply and use. Release have called for the decriminalisation of drugs.

The second panel will be Chief Constable Tim Hollis, Association of Chief Police Officers and Tom Lloyd, former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire. The Committee will be examining the witnesses on the difficulties of policing drugs and the impacts that funding cuts will have on the effectiveness of drug law enforcement.

The third panel will be Trevor Pearce of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The Committee will be inquiring to the effectiveness of the UK in supporting partners abroad in their fight against drug traffickers and the difficulties that the agency faces in bringing the drug kingpins to justice.

Witnesses

  • At approx 10.30 am
    Danny Kushlick, Transform and Niamh Eastwood, Release
  • At approx 11.30 am
    Chief Constable Tim Hollis CBE QPM, Association of Chief Police Officers and Tom Lloyd QPM MA (Oxon), former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire
  • At approx 12.00 pm
    Trevor Pearce, Director General of  the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

Committee Chair Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

“One of the questions we have continually asked during this inquiry is what decriminalisation or legalisation would look like in practice. Hopefully we will get the answer from our witnesses this week.

The policing of drugs is important, not just because of the harm they do but also because they contribute significantly to the proceeds of organised crime. Around 50% of all Organised Crime Groups are involved in drugs and 80% of the most harmful groups are involved in drugs, predominantly in importation/supply of class A drugs.

By speaking to policing agencies we hope to establish whether there is anything more our police could be doing to tackle the supply of drugs and whether the cuts in policing will affect their capabilities.”

Further Information

Image: iStockphoto

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