Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed new plans for earlier intervention to get drug using families into treatment, new asset seizure powers to reduce incentives for crime and the delivery of new approaches to drug treatment.
This year the Government will invest almost £1 billion in ‘Drugs: protecting families and communities’, which builds on the current ten year strategy, by:
· extending powers to seize drug dealers’ assets to demonstrate that crime does not pay;
· placing a greater responsibility on drug-users on benefits to get treatment and back into work;
· embedding action to tackle drugs through the neighbourhood policing approach, gathering intelligence from communities;
· strengthening and extending international agreements to intercept drugs supplied to the UK;
· focusing on families where parents use drugs and prioritising treatment for parents to protect their children;
· piloting new approaches that allow more flexible and effective use of resources including personalised treatment;
· increasing the use of community sentences with a drug rehabilitation requirement; and
· developing support for drug treatment so that those who quit drugs are offered training and support in getting work and re-establishing their lives.
Compulsory testing on arrest and assessment by a drugs worker, backed up by tough sanctions – including, in some cases, prison sentences – have contributed to a fall in recorded acquisitive crime of around 20 per cent and over 1,000 crack houses have been closed since 2003. But tackling drugs remains a formidable social problem with Class A drug use costing the UK £15 billion a year in crime and health costs alone.
David Hanson said:
“Over the last ten years drugs use has fallen to an 11 year low and drug related crime has fallen by 20 per cent over the last five years. However, people are understandably concerned about drugs and drug crime which I why I welcome these proposals and this investment.
“Unprecedented investment in drug treatment has more than doubled the number of people getting treatment to 195,000 in the last year and led to faster treatment services.
“I want to see far fewer people start taking drugs in the first place, but also earlier intervention with more people that are hooked going through the full treatment programme so they can go on to lead healthy lives free of drugs.”