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Drug Trafficking

Volume 131: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advance there has been in making British law match more closely United Nations guidelines for legal sanctions on drug trafficking.

The United Kingdom has, since 1964, been a party to the United Nations single convention on narcotic drugs 1961, which requires the application of stringent controls over the production, manufacture, distribution and availability of such drugs, with the aim of preventing their diversion to the illicit trade. In 1986 the United Kingdom ratified the United Nations convention on psychotropic substances 1971, which requires similar controls over a wide range of synthetic drugs liable to misuse. The provisions of these conventions are embodied in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, as amended by subsequent modification orders, and its associated regulations. We are now participating in negotiations on a new United Nations convention against illicit trafficking.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what links have now been established between drug trafficking and terrorist activities.

We have no direct evidence of such links in respect of terrorism directed against the United Kingdom or United Kingdom interests, but we remain alert to the possibility both at national level and in multilateral organisations such as Trevi.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what rate of interception for illegal trafficking in drugs he treats as providing a reasonable indication of effective policing and an effective deterrent.

It is not possible to calculate an interception rate for covert illegal activity. But there are a number of indicators (for example, information over time about the availability, purity and street price of certain drugs) which chief officers can use to help them assess the effectiveness of their enforcement activities including their efficacy as a deterrent.