I am pleased to announce that today we are publishing the Government’s new 10-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives.
Illegal drugs can have devastating effects on individuals, families and neighbourhoods, as well as costing society nearly £20 billion a year in England alone. The number of deaths from drug misuse are at the highest levels recorded, and drugs drive nearly half of all homicides and acquisitive crimes such as robberies, burglaries and thefts. The county lines model of drug distribution has also brought new levels of violence and exploitation to neighbourhoods across the country.
In 2019, the Government commissioned Professor Dame Carol Black to undertake an independent review of drugs to set out what more can be done to tackle drug harms. The second part of this review was published in July of this year. We are pleased to have accepted all of Dame Carol’s key recommendations, and the strategy we are publishing today sets out our response in full.
We are clear that these problems cannot be addressed by any one Department alone. This task requires a whole-of-Government approach, which is why our ambitious strategy focuses on three core strategic priorities:
Breaking drug supply chains;
Delivering a world-class treatment and recovery system; and
Achieving a significant reduction in demand for illegal drugs over the next generation.
The strategy is backed by nearly £900 million of additional funding over the next three years. This record level of investment will bring our total spending on drug enforcement, treatment, recovery and prevention to more than £3 billion over the next three years.
An oral statement that will be given in the House of Commons later today will provide further detail on the commitments and investment we are making in relation to each of our three strategic priorities and the new frameworks for national and local accountability that underpin this.
The strategy will be available on gov.uk, and will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.