UK - Home Office split: - dibs on who gets drugs (UK)

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Lunar Loops, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Feb 10, 2006
    from ireland
    This from the TANSFORM website (
    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Home Office split: - dibs on who gets drugs

    The media is full of reports that the Home Office could be split in two. Despite the fact that the idea was rejected by Blair when Charles Clarke was Home Secretary, it is apparently now back on the cards after another high profile Home Office debacle, this time to do with records of overseas offences not being recorded in the UK database.

    The idea, apparently, is that the Home Office will be split into a ministry of justice and a ministry of security. Quite aside from the fight over which one gets the shiney new £700 million Home Office building (photographed below by my own fair hand), there will no doubt be an equally energetic scuffle over who doesn't get to keep the drug policy brief. Obviously the international illegal drugs trade is contributing to all sorts of security issues, fuelling conflict around the world and funding terrorism and violent organised crimainl networks. Its also causing havoc throughout the domestic criminal justice system. So with the drug strategy consistently undermining both security and justice, the new ministry's will be fighting to be rid of it. Its probably a safe bet that either camp would rather go back to their previous home in that nasty 70s tower block than take on the poinsoned chalice of enforcing prohibition.

    One of the problems plaguing the Home Office is ofcourse the prison's overcrowding crisis, which is in large part the fault of the the UKs disaterous drug policy - as developed and implemented by the Home Office. Not only are 17% of inmates drug offenders of various kinds, mostly non violent, but probably at least half of the remainder are inside for drug-related offending - mostly aquisitive property crime to support a heroin and/or crack habit. The Home Office's own research, backed up by the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit Report on drugs, suggests that crime committed to support an illegal habit is valued at £11-16 billion a year. By coincidence the Home Office's entire budget is also £16 billion a year.

    The Home Office also estimates that it spends £2 to £3.5 billion a year(of £16 billion a year total) enforcing the drug laws and dealing with all this drug and drug realeted crime (policing, courts, prison, probabtion etc), the vast majority of which is a direct result of the futile but dogged enforcement of prohibition.

    If the Home Office wanted to dramatically reduce crime at all scales, reduce the prison population, and free up huge resources for dealing with all that tricky paperwork and pesky real-criminals, then considering some cautious phased drug policy and law reform might seem a sensible place to start. Then they wouldnt have to decide who carried the drug policy brief because they could hand it over to the Department of Health where it belongs.

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