police

A more sophisticated approach to drugs is needed to tackle gang violence effectively

Rob Wilson, CEO

With everything else going on in politics and the world at the moment, an article in The Times entitled 'Criminal Gangs "Better Funded Than the Police"' may have passed people by. For those of us on the centre right of politics it should serve as a wake up call, an eye-opener to the evidence about what is happening on our streets now...today!

Young offenders, according to Jackie Sebire, Deputy Assistant of the National Police Chiefs' Council, no longer care about the consequences of committing violent crimes because criminal gangs are better funded than the police. She points out that drug users in Bedfordshire spend almost as much on cocaine and cannabis alone as the force's £113 million budget. Not long ago the Home Affairs Select Committee also pointed to the Police being behind the criminal gangs in terms of the use of technology and other state of the art equipment.

"It's a myth that we can arrest our way out of drug problems" - Mike Barton speech at CDPRG launch

Former Chief Constable Durham Police Mike Barton

I joined Lancashire police in 1980 and this month I retired as Chief Constable of Durham. Throughout those 39 years the drug laws have essentially remained unchanged.

In 2000 the Police Federation’s review of drugs and the law, supported by the Home Office, found no evidence that severe custodial penalties or their enforcement, however vigorous, was having any impact on supply. They said the law should be based on seven principles. I will deal with just the first three.

Firstly it should be used as a means of reducing demand and support the broader agenda of health, prevention and education. Well, since 2000 the police have advocated a health-based approach and yet it is still primarily seen as a criminal justice issue.