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Drugs

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on the implementation of drugs policies in each category in each of the last 10 years. (286735)

Total expenditure on Home Office drugs programmes was captured within the HM Treasury database on our previous strategic objective that fewer people’s lives are ruined by drugs (and alcohol).

The relevant figures for (a) the Department are set out in the following table, whereas (b) Home Office agencies whose strategic and operational activities include elements of our drugs policies do not budget specifically for them but for their overarching enforcement aims and objectives.

Changes in the classification of funding in Spending Review 2000 mean that comparison with previous years is not possible.

Total expenditure by the Home Office on drugs

£000

Resource

Capital

2000-01

0

0

2001-02

1,825

0

2002-03

80,619

0

2003-04

96,351

0

2004-05

206,904

2,174

2005-06

200,382

800

2006-07

211,472

1,390

2007-08

199,450

774

2008-09

180,688

500

Note:

Capital funding of £20,262,000 in 2006-07 and £19,702,000 in 2007-08 20,262 previously reported on to the HMT database erroneously included and classified Safer and Stronger Communities funding as Drugs expenditure. This is being corrected in the HMT database.

Source:

HMT database.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to reduce the supply of prohibited substances to problem drug users at street level. (287498)

As part of 2008 drug strategy, we have expanded the ‘street level up’ (SLUA) initiative. The SLUA approach is a national, multi-agency project designed to make a sustained impact on the illicit drugs trade and drug related criminality, and harm it causes to people and communities. This approach builds on intelligence on street level dealers to identify and take out higher level dealers, thereby disrupting the entire supply chain. A number of police forces are involved in the second phase and the Serious Organised Crime Agency are working with forces to plan and support the local roll-out.

As highlighted in the 2008 drug strategy ‘Drugs: protecting families and communities’, the Home Office and partners have put in place neighbourhood policing teams in every area of England and Wales to allow the police to respond more directly to any issues of concern identified by the community and to work in a more joined-up approach with local partners. Our next priority is to embed action to tackle drugs, where this is a local priority, within the neighbourhood policing and policing pledge approach to help the police and partners to be more responsive to community intelligence and concerns about drugs.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the monetary value of the illicit drugs market in the UK. (287918)

The most recent estimate by the Home Office of the value of the UK illicit drugs market was published in 2006, it estimates the value of the UK illicit drug market at between £4 billion to £6.6 billion for the reference year 2003-04.

This estimate is based on six categories of illicit drugs: cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, powder cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. The total market size is estimated at £4.6 billion in England and Wales and £5.3 billion in the UK as a whole. The margin of error for these estimates are wide; £3.5 billion to £5.8 billion for England and Wales, and £4.0 billion to £6.6 billion for the UK. In terms of total street value, crack and heroin account for the largest shares of expenditure (respectively 28 per cent. and 23 per cent.); cannabis and powder cocaine make up 20 and 18 per cent. of expenditure, while amphetamines and ecstasy have a market shares of six and five per cent.

Reference:

Pudney et al. (2006) 'Estimating the Size of the UK Illicit Drug Market' In Singleton, N. et al. (eds.) 'Measuring Different Aspects of Problem Drug Use: Methodological Developments'. Home Office Online Report 16,/06).