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London, Drugs and You – the Role of Elected Members May 11th 2009 Facilitated by David MacKintosh and Sara McGrail.

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Presentation on theme: "London, Drugs and You – the Role of Elected Members May 11th 2009 Facilitated by David MacKintosh and Sara McGrail."— Presentation transcript:

1 London, Drugs and You – the Role of Elected Members May 11th 2009 Facilitated by David MacKintosh and Sara McGrail

2 No more of Whitehall assuming it has all the answers. No more of Local Government relying on central guidance as a crutch, always waiting to be told what to do, seeing the statutory minimum as the extent of its ambitions. No more of the publics views being overlooked or requested as a mere afterthought Hazel Blears, 2008

3 LDPF Home Office Research Exploring local implementation and management of the Drugs Strategy Identifying opportunities to improve the fit between national and local strategy Exploring the relationship between solid local delivery and central accountability Identifying the support needs of elected members (and senior officers) in effectively governing the strategy locally

4 Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain Use of illicit drugs and frequent use amongst young people has fallen Use of Class A drugs has stabilised after a period of sustained increases Treatment capacity has doubled, waiting times down Growing number of offenders are pushed into treatment from the criminal justice system Drug-related crime has fallen by around a fifth

5 London Context Class A use (heroin,cocaine, ecstasy) higher in London than national average Other drug use in line with national average 79,000 problem drug users (heroin/crack) 40% of DIP tests positive (range 32% to 48%) 60% of current and former IDUs have a BBV

6 Drugs: Protecting Families and Communities Replaces and builds on the previous ten year strategy published in 1998, updated in 2002 Sets out an overarching framework of objectives, which extend the approach taken in the previous strategy Contains first of a series of three year action plans, which will run alongside the Governments Comprehensive Spending Review cycles and associated PSA targets Picks up issues of mainstreaming and localism

7 What is in the new strategy? Four central themes: - Protecting communities through robust enforcement action to tackle drug supply, drug related crime and ASB - Preventing harm to children, young people and families affected by substance misuse - Delivering new approaches to drug treatment and social reintegration - Public information campaigns, communications and community engagement

8 The View From The Ground Scepticism about the achievements Lack of Community Impact - for more than a quarter of people, drug use or drug dealing is a very big or fairly big problem in their area Fall in drug related recorded acquisitive crime is slowing Disconnect between central and local partnership No leadership

9 Current Controversies Harm Reduction - Abstinence Community - Residential Education - Prevention Mainstream - Ringfenced

10 Real Challenges, Real Opportunities should receive a rapid improvement in their overall health and their ability to work, participate in training or support their families approaches..which have the flexibility to respond to circumstances those leaving and planning to leave treatment to have packages of support to access housing, education, training and employment

11 Some Initial Findings from the Research Need to improve understanding of the drug-related problems that affect communities Reinforce local ownership of the solutions and actions necessary to tackle drugs Improve national leadership A greater focus on families and earlier intervention - tackling social exclusion, crime, worklessness and other contributory factors to problematic drug use A greater focus on helping people in treatment to re-integrate with families and communities Stronger local governance Statutory responsibility for Local Authorities, Police and PCTs to embed action on drugs in mainstream local work. Better support for and linkages with local members nationally

12 What We Would Like From You … *Information & Ideas*

13 Information and Ideas How are elected members and the communities they represent currently involved in local drug strategy? What are the risks of involvement - what are the potential benefits? How could elected members be more involved - who should make this happen? What support and information do elected members need to exercise their scrutiny role effectively?

14 Further Information David MacKintosh Sara McGrail

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