HC Deb 22 November 2001 vol 375 cc443-4W
Mr. Malins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on the Government's 10-year strategy for tackling the misuse of drugs. [17084]

(2) what progress is being made towards the targets for reducing the use of class A drugs set out in the 10-year plan for tackling the misuse of drugs; and if he will make a statement. [17086]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

We are currently reviewing progress against all the Drugs Strategy targets as part of the work for the 2002 Spending Review, to ensure that we still have the right balance and focus. We know we need to focus even more on Class A drugs. That is why the Home Secretary announced to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 23 October 2001 that he would be seeking advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on their assessment reclassifying cannabis from Class B to Class C.

Addressing substance misuse among young people is a key priority in delivering the Strategy. We are developing our policy and approach in a number of areas such as in improving the planning and co-ordination of the delivery of services for young people through "Young People's Substance Misuse Plans". We will also be introducing an innovative public awareness campaign on drugs aimed at young people. We have also introduced a range of measures across the whole Strategy. For example, we have provided £1 million as a starter fund for a pilot project to help police target regional drug traffickers with a view to a national roll-out of the scheme; we have agreed a further roll-out of drug testing programmes; and a series of measures, in partnership with the Department of Health, to minimise the harm drug cause.