HC Deb 22 April 1971 vol 815 cc1334-5
1. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reports he has received of increasing drug addiction in Portsmouth; how these reports compare with reports from other major urban areas; and what consultations he has had with the appropriate authorities concerning improved preventive measures.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Richard Sharples)

The Chief Constable of Hampshire's information is that in 1970 dependence on narcotic drugs such as heroin remained reasonably static, but that there was a marked increase in the use of LSD. This is much in line with reports from elsewhere. Home Office inspectors keep in touch with the police Drug Squad, and the local drug dependency centre.

Mr. Judd

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Does not he agree that, while excellent work is being done in rehabilitation in the Portsmouth area and similar urban centres, this is still a serious problem, particularly as it affects the young; that there is need for far greater emphasis on preventive measures, including public education; and that resources on the necessary scale are likely to be provided only on a national level?

Mr. Sharples

Yes, Sir. The Misuse of Drugs Bill will make a contribution. Emphasis particularly on the educative rôle of the Advisory Council is most important.