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Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2009, Official Report, column 673W, on cannabis, where illegal drugs used for police training purposes are (a) obtained and (b) stored; and what guidance her Department has issued to police forces on such matters. (262367)

[holding answer 10 March 2009]: Cannabis is the only drug where smell and touch cannot be replicated. Other illegal drugs are represented by facsimiles that are purchased by police forces as a “dummy box”.

Cannabis is obtained from confiscations which are marked for destruction once the respective case is closed.

The illegal drugs are stored in property stores, the majority of which are located at respective police force headquarters. Property stores are strong, locked rooms with separate drugs cabinets. These are under the control and supervision of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Close supervision is exercised by a senior officer to ensure proper removal, use and replacement of the substances. Release can be obtained only by authorised drug trainers.