HC Deb 31 January 1985 vol 72 cc243-4W
55. Mrs. Rumbold

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further measures the Government intend to introduce to tackle the problem of drug abuse.

Mr. Mellor

The Ministerial Group is continuing to consider ways of developing the Government's strategy. Meanwhile, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is providing 160 more customs officers, mainly to counter drug smuggling; my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has commissioned an advertising agency to draw up proposals for a major education and prevention campaign and is providing more resources for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation; and the Government will be supporting the Bill which my hon. Friend the Members for Delyn (Mr. Raffan) has introduced to increase to life imprisonment the maximum penalty for trafficking in class A drugs.

Mr. Rathbone

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what number and proportion of prison service offices are trained to handle the problem of prisoners who are drug misusers; and whether he is satisfied with their number.

Mr. Mellor

All prison officers receive a half day's training on the subject of drugs and their misuse, during the initial basic training at the Officers' Training School, Wakefield. Further training is given nationally, regionally and within establishments every year. With regard to the detection of drugs, specialist training in this area is provided for certain dog handlers and the number of such specialists is currently being increased. The Prison Service College is also preparing a video film and teaching pack on drug detection which will be issued to all establishments in 1985 for staff training purposes.