HC Deb 04 August 1966 vol 733 cc669-70
25. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons were convicted in England and Wales of offences under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1964, from the commencement of the Act to 31st December, 1964, and in each quarter since then until the end of the first quarter of 1966; and whether such convictions generally show an increase.

Miss Bacon

The figures for these periods are 79, 206, 188, 222, 254 and 242 respectively.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Does this not indicate that the drug menace is serious and is rising, particularly in the Metropolitan area? Would the Minister of State say what action the police are taking about the theft of a quarter of a million purple hearts from the warehouse of British Drug Houses in North Kensington on 22nd July, and whether there is any sign of their catching up with all these drugs floating round London?

Miss Bacon

During the course of the Adjournment debate yesterday, I drew attention to the need for greater security in those places where drugs are kept. We have recently written to all warehouses and firms which keep drugs, asking them what their security arrangements are, with a view to strengthening them. I regret as much as the hon. Gentleman the theft of these 200,000 purple hearts. The police are doing what they can to find the culprits and recover them. We know that a great many of these drugs are getting into the illicit market through thefts of this kind.