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Drugs: Crime

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to reduce the supply of Class B drugs. (276486)

The illegal supply of Class B drugs is a serious matter. Trafficking in controlled drugs of all classes needs to be tackled robustly in order to reduce the harm drugs cause to communities and the organised criminality associated with their supply.

The Government’s strategy is to bear down on all points in the drugs supply chain in order to disrupt criminal gangs, stifle drug supply and reduce the harm caused to communities in the UK. Increasing quantities of drugs are being seized and organised crime groups and dealers disrupted.

The latest figures published show that in 2007-08, there were 8,671 seizures of Class B drugs by the police and HMRC in England and Wales, up 4 per cent. from the 8,304 seizures the previous year. The majority of the Class B seizures in 2007-08 were amphetamines, with 8,412 in 2007-08, an increase of 5 per cent. from the previous year.

It is right that the police should prioritise action to tackle the offences which cause the most harm. For this reason, operational activity tends to focus on Class A drugs, particularly the supply of heroin and cocaine. Where Class B drugs pose a threat within a community, these will become a focus of police activity.