HC Deb 17 April 2002 vol 383 cc954-5W
Mr. Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his plans to tackle drug taking and drug-related crime in(a) Wales and (b) the north-west. [44050]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

My right hon. friend the Home Secretary has an overarching role in monitoring progress against the United Kingdom drugs strategy, taking account of differences in approach where responsibility is devolved. The National Assembly for Wales has devolved responsibility for setting the strategic direction in Wales and monitoring its progress.

Criminal justice policy, however, is not devolved and I am pleased to report that arrest referral schemes and drug testing and treatment orders——both of which aim to help break the link between drug misuse and crime by helping offenders access treatment services——are now available throughout Wales.

Also, to help the police and local communities in England and Wales tackle neighbourhood drug problems and the crime associated with them, the Government have allocated "Communities Against Drugs" funding worth over £220 million over three years. Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships will use this money to finance locally determined actions, including in Wales.

In the north-west, there are 22 drug action teams implementing a wide range of measures to address problems of drug misuse at a local level.

These include: The drawing up of young people's substance misuse plans to deliver better and integrated services for young people; Arrest referral schemes in all five police forces; The roll-out of drug testing and treatment orders across all five probation service areas; The development of treatment plans, in conjunction with Drugs Prevention Advisory Service and the National Treatment Agency, to reduce the time in accessing treatment and expand the range of support provision within each drug action team area.