HC Deb 04 March 2003 vol 400 cc962-3W
Paul Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 5 February 2003,Official Report, column 328W, in what circumstances drug treatment and testing orders are revoked; what is deemed as failure to comply by a participant; and if he will undertake a review of DTTOs. [99284]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

Drug Treatment and Testing orders (DTTO) can be revoked for any of the following reasons: failure to comply; a conviction for a further offence; for other reasons, including ill-health or death or where the offender has demonstrated good progress on the order.

Failure to comply refers to failure to adhere to the requirements of the order as set out under legislation and determined by the court. The two main requirements are to attend for treatment and to attend for testing as specified for a set period. The offender must also attend periodic court reviews and is expected to comply with instructions issued to him by his responsible officer.

The results of the first year of a two year re-conviction study and also a DTTO thematic inspection report will be published later this year. The Government intend that the DTTO will become part of the generic community sentence as proposed by the Criminal Justice Bill currently before Parliament.

Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted offenders were assessed as having drug problems in the last year for which figures are available; and what proportion of these were eligible for a Drug Treatment and Testing Order.[99540]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth

The best available evidence on the links between criminal offending and drug use comes form the New English and Welsh Arrestee Drug Abuse (NEW-ADAM) research programme. This involves interviewing and drug testing those arrested by the police at 16 sites throughout England and Wales. Analysis of the data from the first eight sites in the programme, collected during 1999–2000, shows that of those arrestees that provided a urine sample, 65 per cent. tested positive for one or more illegal drugs. Furthermore, 55 per cent. of arrestees who reported using one of more drugs in the last 12 months and committing one or more acquisitive crimes, acknowledged a link between their drug use and their offending behaviour. This proportion rose to 78 per cent. for arrestees who said they had used heroin and cocaine/crack.

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) enable courts to require offenders to undergo treatment and other programmes, designed to tackle their drug misuse and offending. Before making such an Order, a court has to be satisfied that:

the offender is dependent upon, or has shown/demonstrated a propensity to misuse, drugs and that their offending is linked to drug misuse;is motivated and amenable to treatment;has given consent; andtreatment and DTTO arrangements are in place in the area where the order is being made.

Between November 2001 and October 2002, the latest period for which data is available, 6,296 offenders were assessed as suitable for a DTTO.