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Drugs: Misuse

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what qualifications the initial assessors referred to in Part 3 of the Drugs Act 2005 are required to have for the role of establishing drug misuse; whether all police stations have at least one qualified initial assessor; and what estimate she has made of the cost of maintaining and training an initial assessor in the last 12 months for which information is available. (256541)

The current specification of the qualifications for initial assessors who deliver interventions under the drug interventions programme is given in the Home Office operational guidance for implementation of testing on arrest, required assessment and restriction on bail. That guidance defines initial assessors as

‘somebody who is competent to carry out the initial assessment and will, in almost all instances, be a CJIT (criminal justice integrated team) worker, who will also be employed to carry out voluntary assessments in the same area. All such workers will have, or be working towards, the relevant drug and alcohol national occupational standards (DANOS) competencies’.

In the majority of cases, CJIT workers will carry out initial assessments within custody suites. CJIT workers are employed by drug action teams and substance misuse action teams who are responsible for delivering drug interventions programme services in their areas.

There is no national estimate of the training and maintaining costs of local initial assessors.