U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Police Anti-Drugs Strategies: Tackling Drugs Together Three Years On

NCJ Number
T Newburn; J Elliott
Date Published
56 pages
The British White Paper, "Tackling Drugs Together," which was published in May 1995, set out the government's plans for addressing drug misuse over a 3-year period; this current report examines the police role in and contribution to the aims of the White Paper in the 3 years since the strategy was introduced.
At the core of the White Paper was a statement of purpose: "To take effective action by vigorous law enforcement, accessible treatment and a new emphasis on education and prevention ..." This assessment of progress toward this goal was divided into two stages. The first involved a review of relevant documentary evidence and two mail surveys: one of chief constables and one of drug (and alcohol) action teams (DATs) in England and Wales. The focus of this stage was on the ways in which drug strategies have been developed by police forces in response to the White Paper; the views of forces and DATs on the nature and effectiveness of these strategies; and the police role in implementation. The second stage of the research involved six case studies that addressed the implementation of anti-drug strategies. Perhaps the most important conclusion from the study is that the 3 years since the White Paper have seen considerable activity by police forces in England and Wales. All forces have now published anti- drug strategies, and many are in the process of producing and publishing revised strategies. In relation to drug law enforcement, the forces have generally broadened their approach; the importance of drug education and harm reduction are now clearly recognized by the forces, and the police have become a central factor in the work of the majority of the DATs. Success was least evident in the area of liaison, sharing, and planning with Customs and Excise as well as regional crime squads. The lack of resources was often cited as a significant problem for forces, and there was mention of structural problems related to force reorganization and local government reorganization that has impeded new drug initiatives. Suggestions for future anti-drug strategies are presented. 15 tables and 21 references