§ Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research is carried out by his Department to establish the extent to which drug addiction or alcohol abuse is a contributory factor to the commission of crime in London.
§ Mr. Mellor
The Home Office has undertaken or commissioned a number of research studies which examine the relationship between drug misuse and crime in the United Kingdom. Home Office Research Study No. 23 "Delinquency Amongst Opiate Users", published in 1974, described the criminal histories of a group of London opiate users. A study of the criminal behaviour of regular opioid users in London, Cambridge and Bristol has recently been completed.
Research in progress includes a statistical analysis of the criminal convictions of addicts first notified from anywhere in England and Wales between 1979 and 1981, 342W a similar analysis for persons convicted of an offence involving class A notifiable drugs and an examination of some aspects of the relationship between drug misuse and burglary in London and two provincial areas. It is hoped that the findings of these studies will be published during this year. A study in Nottingham of drug misuse and the links with crime is shortly to begin. A review of the findings of these studies, and others, may indicate whether drug misuse contributes more or less to the commission of crime in London as compared with other areas in the United Kingdom.
The result of national and international research on the relationship between crime and alcohol use have been reviewed in articles in the Home Office research and planning unit research bulletin in 1976 and 1983. Copies of the bulletin are in the Library of the House.