HC Deb 24 October 2001 vol 373 cc286-8W
Dr. Iddon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the statutory provisions which allow him to give a direction prohibiting a doctor from prescribing controlled drugs have not been used since November 1997. [8636]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

[holding answer 18 October 2001]: The statutory provisions which give rise to such directions (known as the Misuse of Drugs Tribunal) have been seldom used since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was introduced. They are cumbersome, time consuming and inflexible.

In its response to the report of the independent inquiry into the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, set up by the Police Foundation, the Government accepted the recommendation that the tribunal system should be abolished with reliance henceforth placed on the revised procedures of the General Medical Council to provide an effective remedy.

Mr. Jon Owen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of users of(a) all illegal drugs, (b) cannabis, (c) class A drugs and (d) class A drugs excluding heroin are graduates; and if this affects drug education programmes. [8648]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

The statistics available at present do not provide information on the percentage of graduates using illegal drugs.

One of the aims of the Government's anti-drug strategy is to reduce the number of young people reporting the use of Class A drugs. All decisions concerning drug education programmes are taken at a local level, based on guidance provided by the Department for Education and Skills.

Mr. Jon Owen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in drug use among those of Indian heritage. [8649]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

The Government have been concerned about not only the increase in drug use among ethnic minority groups but also the quality of the delivery of drugs prevention and drug treatment services to them. We have commissioned a study to look at the whole area of drugs and ethnicity which was undertaken by Kamlesh Patel from the University of Central Lancashire and Michael Shinner from Goldsmith's College. A report has been submitted to the Home Office which will be published in January and will help to inform a wider diversity strategy on drugs.

Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the steps his Department is taking to reduce drug dependency in Worcestershire. [8626]

Transaction/Project title Estimated cost saving1 (£ million) Outstanding payments
Rainsbrook (Onley) Training Centre Expansion 10.5
Heat Energy Services Tranche 2 3.73 2
Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) Ryehill 55.0
HMP Dovegate 51.0
Quantum 128.0
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) 3
IT2000 (Sinus Programme) 50
Public Safety Radio Communications Project (PSRCP) 130.0

Mr. Denham

My Department continues to support and fund the local drug action team in Worcestershire. The drug action team has taken numerous steps in support of the Government's four aims under the drugs strategy relating to young people, treatment, communities and availability. In 2000–01 these have included implementing arrest referral and Drug Treatment and Testing Order schemes in the county, developing 'parenting communication programmes', and developing drug enforcement activity within the West Mercia Policing Plan.