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UKDPC seminar, 10 th March 2009 Getting Real Impact from Drug-related Law Enforcement by Addressing Harms www.ukdpc.org.uk.

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Presentation on theme: "UKDPC seminar, 10 th March 2009 Getting Real Impact from Drug-related Law Enforcement by Addressing Harms www.ukdpc.org.uk."— Presentation transcript:

1 UKDPC seminar, 10 th March 2009 Getting Real Impact from Drug-related Law Enforcement by Addressing Harms

2 Why re-focus on drug-related harms? Widespread recognition that drug markets are extremely resilient and traditional enforcement – struggles to make sustainable impact on supply – can make matters worse Widespread recognition that drug markets are extremely resilient and traditional enforcement – struggles to make sustainable impact on supply – can make matters worse UK Drug strategies focus on reducing harms UK Drug strategies focus on reducing harms Trend towards a local partnership approaches and a focus on community priorities Performance still tends to be judged by Performance still tends to be judged by measures of traditional supply-side activity such as seizure rates.

3 Project Objectives To identify and promote the contribution that drug-related enforcement activity can make to reducing drug harms To identify and promote the contribution that drug-related enforcement activity can make to reducing drug harms To develop a framework which enables enforcement & other agencies to plan and assess operational activity on the basis of evaluation of impact on drug-related harms To develop a framework which enables enforcement & other agencies to plan and assess operational activity on the basis of evaluation of impact on drug-related harms

4 Project components Essays on how drug enforcement might address harms published: Safer Communities Vol 8(1) January 2009 Essays on how drug enforcement might address harms published: Safer Communities Vol 8(1) January 2009 Desk research – to identify evidence of different enforcement activity and their impact on a range of harms and develop a framework relating enforcement to harms Desk research – to identify evidence of different enforcement activity and their impact on a range of harms and develop a framework relating enforcement to harms Consultation – with groups and individuals to identify different perspectives on harms caused by drugs and how enforcement is/can address drug harms Consultation – with groups and individuals to identify different perspectives on harms caused by drugs and how enforcement is/can address drug harms Case studies – to supplement desk research Case studies – to supplement desk research Dialogue with key influencers Dialogue with key influencers

5 A focus on total harm Harms at all levels: Harms at all levels: –User –Family / peers / neighbours –Local community – institutions / business / community –National – institutions / business / political Harms of all types: Harms of all types: –Health –Economic –Social / structural –Environmental Harms from: Harms from: –Use –Production –Distribution –Control

6 International evidence – Enforcement can reduce harm by … 1. Reducing drug use 2. Reducing the harm per unit of drug used 3. Reducing the harms users impose on others 4. Reducing the harms caused by trafficking, production & distribution of drugs

7 UK examples of focus on harms Modification of enforcement approach to mitigate harm caused Modification of enforcement approach to mitigate harm caused Consideration of harms in prioritisation Consideration of harms in prioritisation Harms feature in aims of operations Harms feature in aims of operations –Acquisitive crime –Public nuisance / community impact Targeting new harms Targeting new harms BUT assessment of impact on harms rare BUT assessment of impact on harms rare

8 Findings Enforcement agencies generally accept that: Enforcement agencies generally accept that: –Enforcement will not eradicate drug markets –Not all markets are equally harmful –Enforcement has the potential to shape the market both positively & negatively –Benefits of partnership working Is considerable potential for more harm-focused approach Is considerable potential for more harm-focused approach This can be achieved within existing policing practice / guidelines This can be achieved within existing policing practice / guidelines

9 To achieve this we need … Better understanding of the harms and risks associated with drug use and markets Better understanding of the harms and risks associated with drug use and markets Reduction in the harm from drug markets to be an explicit overall aim in relevant strategies and organisations Reduction in the harm from drug markets to be an explicit overall aim in relevant strategies and organisations Partnership working Partnership working Involvement of communities in problem identification and priority setting Involvement of communities in problem identification and priority setting

10 Need to consider harms at all stages In problem specification / identification & In prioritisation / choosing between different demands or interventions. In problem specification / identification & In prioritisation / choosing between different demands or interventions. –NIM Strategic assessment / tasking & co-ordination Neighbourhood policing Community priorities POP Scanning & Analysis In identifying appropriate response if responding to a new problem or seeking a fresh approach. In identifying appropriate response if responding to a new problem or seeking a fresh approach. In impact assessment as a means of identifying appropriate measures of the impact of activities and of unintended consequences and In performance management in the identification of appropriate targets In impact assessment as a means of identifying appropriate measures of the impact of activities and of unintended consequences and In performance management in the identification of appropriate targets

11 Project outputs – simple tools Framework consistent with existing approaches and tools to assist implementation: Harm framework to provide assist problem specification. Harm framework to provide assist problem specification. Problem analysis framework Problem analysis framework Case studies illustrating enforcement approaches and their impact on drug harms Case studies illustrating enforcement approaches and their impact on drug harms Examples of potential measures of the impact of activities and of unintended consequences. Examples of potential measures of the impact of activities and of unintended consequences.

12 A harm framework/matrix By whom or at what level and what type of harms are experienced: INDIVIDUAL USER/DEALERFAMILY & PEERSLOCAL COMMUNITYNATIONAL HEALTH HARMS Physical health problemsEmotional distress / stress- induced ill-health Disease transmission Mental health problemsHealth consequences of domestic abuse SOCIAL/STRUCTURAL HARMS Spiralling criminalitySocial exclusionFear & sense of disorderNormalisation of drug use Involvement in sex tradeFear for own & families safety Normalisation of drug useLoss of public confidence in institutions Social exclusionNormalisation of drug useDevelopment of street gangs ECONOMIC HARMS Cost of drug useReduced income following imprisonment/fines Enforcement costs Impact on employmentReduced income following job/benefits loss CJS costs ENVIRONMENTAL HARMS Degradation of neighbourhoods: eg discarded paraphernalia Hazards of illicit labs/ cannabis farms etc

13 Problem analysis framework ProblemLeads to …Resultant harmWho experiences it Visible drug dealing People afraid to be in the areaMental distressLocal community People avoid the area Loss of amenityLocal community Loss of businessLocal businesses Property values/ rents declineLocal property owners Loss of confidence in the police Decreased co-operationLocal institution (police) Alienation / loss of social cohesion Local community/ individuals Drug use considered normal so YP more likely to initiate use Health problemsIndividuals Increased truancy & ed failureIndividuals Mental distressFamilies Easy access to drugs so increased use Health problemsIndividual users Increasing truancy & school failure Individual users Mental distressFamilies Easy access to drugs attracts usersIncreased acquisitive crimeLocal community

14 Examples of operational approaches 1. Targeting particularly harmful individuals or activities –Diverting PDU offenders into treatment (eg DIP) –Pro-active engagement (eg PPO and assertive outreach as in Operation Reduction & Iceberg) –Prioritising individuals or OCGs on the basis of the harm they cause (eg Operation Grasslands, OCG harm risk matrices) –Using POCA effectively (Operation Macarise)

15 Examples of operational approaches 2. Place-based enforcement –Wide range of measures available eg CCTV, redesigning spaces, high visibility policing, intelligence-led investigation –Multi-component, multi-agency approaches needed for sustainability (eg Operation Nemesis) 3. Targeting behaviours –Boston Gun Project –Targeting landlords / suppliers of cutting agents or financial services –Use of civil powers

16 Possible impact measures Intelligence – including crime and OGC mapping Intelligence – including crime and OGC mapping Crimestoppers and other crime reports Crimestoppers and other crime reports National surveys and data National surveys and data Community surveys Community surveys Forensic information Forensic information Partner agency data – use and costs associated with services, etc. Partner agency data – use and costs associated with services, etc. Crime stats, CJS stats and drug/asset seizures Crime stats, CJS stats and drug/asset seizures MOSAIC and other demographic data MOSAIC and other demographic data Audits/observations – e.g. environmental. Audits/observations – e.g. environmental. Community feedback mechanisms (e.g. blogs) Community feedback mechanisms (e.g. blogs) Private sector partner information (businesses etc) Private sector partner information (businesses etc) Corruption incidences Corruption incidences House price data House price data Interviews/surveys with criminals, police, victims. Interviews/surveys with criminals, police, victims. ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition). ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition). Media Coverage Media Coverage

17 Potential benefits of this approach Improve partnership-working through common language and objectives Improve partnership-working through common language and objectives Harm-related objectives lead to alternative measures of impact (both positive & negative) and better understanding of cost-effectiveness Harm-related objectives lead to alternative measures of impact (both positive & negative) and better understanding of cost-effectiveness May be spur to innovation & development of new tactics May be spur to innovation & development of new tactics Improve communication with communities and greater recognition of impact of enforcement Improve communication with communities and greater recognition of impact of enforcement Real impact on drug harms Real impact on drug harms

18 Project outputs – reports Essays Essays Overall project report Overall project report Policy briefing Policy briefing ???? ????

19 Further development / challenges Linking harm into current enforcement practice Linking harm into current enforcement practice Political / media / public perceptions Political / media / public perceptions Prioritisation of harms Prioritisation of harms Measurement Measurement

20 Questions and feedback For more information contact: Nicola Singleton or visit


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