Drug Arrests up 13% but Blair Wants More

Drug Arrests up 13% but Blair Wants More
Posted by FoM on February 16, 2000 at 07:17:27 PT
By David Shaw, Parliamnentary Correspondent
Source: This Is London
Tony Blair today called together his most senior Ministers involved in the battle against drugs to redouble their efforts despite figures showing a record number of arrests and seizures. There is concern that while the statistics show the success of police and Customs in tackling the menace the amount still ending up on the streets may also be increasing. 
The Prime Minister was meeting Home Secretary Jack Straw, Cabinet Office Minister Mo Mowlam and Government drugs "czar" Keith Hellawell to examine the 10-year strategy which, it is claimed, shows signs of working after only 18 months. Nevertheless, Mr Blair was underlining the need for no let-up by the enforcement agencies and others, including schools. Nearly 127,900 drug offenders were caught in 1998, the last year for which figures are available - a 13 per cent rise on the previous year - with 90 per cent involved with cannabis. Customs and Excise found drugs with a street value of 710 million in 1998, up eight per cent. Cocaine seizures were up by a more than a third and heroin seizures rose by nearly a fifth. There was a nine per cent rise in the amount of ecstasy-type drugs. Despite fears of a softening of attitudes to cannabis, the figures show no sign of that. The vast majority of seizures involved the drug - a seven per cent rise to 76 per cent. After his meeting with the Prime Minister, Mr Hellawell said that the figures showed his strategy was working. "In one way these figures prove that we are clamping down on drugs with the arrest of more offenders and more seizures." He said that initiatives such as "rat on a rat" had resulted in hundreds of drugs offenders coming to the attention of police. "This is what we call people power and we will be looking to extend this and build on its success," Mr Hellawell said. Published: February 16, 2000 Associated Newspapers Ltd.16 February 2000Cannabis News Search Of United Kingdom News Articles:
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