HC Deb 17 July 2003 vol 409 cc595-6W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many class A drug supply offenders there are for every 10,000 residents in(a) the UK, (b) the west midlands and (c) Coventry; [126048]

(2) how many people were convicted of class A drug supply offences for every 10,000 residents in 2002 in (a) the UK, (b) the west midlands and (c) Coventry. [126049]

Caroline Flint

The number of Class A drug offenders is not known. We do have information on the number of offenders brought to justice in England and Wales, though not at constituency level. 630 offenders were brought to justice in the west midlands police force area for Class A drug supply offences in 2000, and 8,409 such offenders in England and Wales in the same period.

Using current population estimates for 2000, 2.41 offenders per 10,000 residents in the west midlands police force area were brought to justice for Class A supply offences in that year. In England and Wales, 1.59 offenders per 10,000 residents were brought to justice.

Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of defendants sentenced to a drugs treatment and testing order re-offended during the currency of the order in each year since it was introduced. [122121]

Paul Goggins

It is too soon for validated information about re-offending since national roll-out of the order in October 2000. It is currently impossible to differentiate between offences committed prior to the commencement of the order and those committed after the order was made.

A one-year reconviction study of offenders in the pilot areas will be published shortly and I will send the hon. Member a copy as soon as it is available.

Mr. Best

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the number of offenders with drug problems who enter treatment. [125108]

Caroline Flint

The Government fully recognises the need to focus the Criminal Justice system towards drug misusing offenders and has set out measures to use the criminal justice system to engage drug-misusing offenders, driving them into treatment and out of crime.

Those measures constitute the Criminal Justice Interventions Programme which aims to ensure that while individual Interventions such as Arrest Referral, Drug Testing, Drug Treatment and Testing Orders, are expanded, there is a step-change in interventions delivering an end-to-end system for drug misusing offenders. These measures will work in parallel with appropriate treatment interventions to establish an integrated care pathway.

Government funding on treatment services for drug misusers will rise from £438 million to £503 million by 2003–04. The National Treatment Agency has several initiatives underway to increase the capacity of the treatment sector and reduce waiting times, and the updated Drug Strategy is currently on track to double capacity, by 2008, with 200,000 problem drug users to be treated each year.

The Updated Drug Strategy, which provides for a wider programme of targeted interventions, includes making the Drug Treatment and Testing Order available to as many drug misusing offenders as possible within existing capacity levels and taking into account predicted growth within the treatment and Criminal Justice sectors.