Community Cohesion and Safety Scrutiny Commission Tuesday 20 th September 2011

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1 AGENDA ITEM NO. 11 Community Cohesion and Safety Scrutiny Commission Tuesday 20 th September 2011 Drugs Supply Briefing Note (to support powerpoint presentation) Officer Reporting: Chris Luke, Safer Bristol Partnership s Drug Supply Co-ordinator The following briefing, provides answers to questions posed in relation to drugs supply in Bristol. It also provides an opportunity to highlight the work in Bristol to tackle the city s drug markets through effective partnership problem solving (Operation Beacon). Operation Beacon A street level up approach to tackling Bristol s drug markets has been put into action. This involves liaison with the community and statutory and voluntary partner agencies to include their views on delivering a coordinated, more holistic approach to offending behaviour and its impact on the community. The project focuses on drug treatment to deter re-offending, improve community cohesion and design out crime. So far this has been implemented in drug markets in Bishopsworth Neighbourhood Policing Area and the early impression is that the area has vastly improved and this operation has stopped any re-emergence of drug dealing and related volume crime. What drugs of different kinds are circulating in Bristol? All Drugs are available, probably some that we don t know about. Cocaine / Heroin / Cannabis / Ecstasy / Ketamine / Mephedrone /Khat / Amphetamine Source; Police Drug seizures and intelligence CJIT(Criminal Justice Intervention Team) testing feedback from providers and service users.

2 How drug use breaks down in terms of different social groups; who is using what. Cannabis is widely used across all social groups. Everywhere 25+ age group - Heroin, Crack. In crack houses, public places, hostels and more increasingly at home addresses. 17 to 25 age group - Ecstasy, ketamine, Cocaine, crack, mephedrone, Legal Highs. Mostly in public places, vehicles and clubs. Impact clients Heroin, Crack and cocaine in public, home addresses and crack houses Street prostitutes Heroin and Crack in crack houses Recreational Cocaine in clubs, pubs and home addresses Dance groups Ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, in clubs, pubs and home addresses. Source; As above What are the dangers to users, particularly young people who may be experimenting with recreational drugs? Drugs are illegal and possessing / supplying / producing can lead to involvement with the criminal justice system. Over 90% of Bristol s most prolific offenders are problematic drug users. Drugs are designed to be dispensed by medical practitioners to have some effect either immediately or progressively on bodily functions or organs. Unsupervised use can be harmful. The risk of harm is heightened because the only thing you can check is the weight. What have you bought? What purity is it? What is it mixed with? Other commodities are not purchased with such little information. You will have to continually tell lies and become secretive around disapproving family and friends. Most drugs are mind changing and impact on a person s behaviour and attitude, putting family relations, friendships, ability to get or keep employment, ability to participate in sporting activities / hobbies and the ability to learn, at risk.

3 Drugs are expensive and even minor use can lead to debt. Excessive users are tempted to steal or commit other illegal acts to get money to pay for drugs. Drugs are supplied by criminals who do it for money. They do not care about a user s age, welfare or how they get the money to pay. They often use extreme violence to enforce debts. Purchasing drugs from illegal sources exposes users to blackmail and extortion, which often embroils innocent family members. On average 30 people die drug related deaths in Bristol each year. Drugs affect individuals differently. The sharing of equipment spreads infections and disease. What forms of drug use cause the biggest problems for treatment and enforcement agencies and the biggest cost in both human and financial terms? Problems for Treatment Providers. Chaotic poly drug use by already vulnerable individuals many with mental health issues Health risks attached to poor intravenous injecting practices. Treatment for opiate use Methadone substitute suitable as treatment for some users but Heroin is regularly found in toxicology results following Post Mortems. Treatment for stimulants No substitutes but other drugs are taken to assist withdrawal. Urinary problems linked to ketamine use. Understanding reasons behind initial use Raising awareness of the range of available drug treatment. The availability, quality and management of supported housing. Supported housing not linked to sustainable rehab opportunities. Drug availability in the vicinity of treatment and rehab premises.

4 Problems for enforcement agencies Understanding the huge demand that makes drugs a very profitable commodity. Infiltrating Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) that provide the supply to meet the demand. Being easily concealable drugs are difficult to find even on the back of quality intelligence. Dealing with feuding between OCGs to control markets which often develop into major incidents without being overtly drug related. Keeping abreast of ever changing dealing, supply and drug trends. Tackling problematic drug use that negatively impacts on communities, families, volume crime, anti-social behaviour, street prostitution, litter, housing and vulnerable individuals. Linking with treatment providers to provide outreach workers to assist with the signposting of users caught up in enforcement initiatives. Unreported crime associated with drug hotspots. Recreational users Creates markets for dealers and suppliers. Poor role models for young people Drug use increasingly mixed with alcohol consumption. What have been the successes in terms of limiting drug use by other means? Supply Group has provided a coordinated pan Bristol response to drugs at all levels. Linked with Bristol prison to repair the treatment cycle. Successful gang and drug market disruption Coordinating resources / multi agency response crime reduction Offender management. Specialist drug court

5 What are the current challenges? Encourage all agencies to contribute towards building a strategic overview of drugs in Bristol to raise and maintain the level of understanding and awareness of all. Keeping abreast of the emergence of new drugs. Review the content and delivery methods of drug awareness and prevention programmes for young people Working with CJIT to develop an outreach and an on the spot referral system to cater for families, carers, problematic drug users and vulnerable people encountered during enforcement initiatives. To increase amounts recovered under the Proceeds of Crime legislation. Review the current quality and management of supported housing in Bristol. Linking drug treatment to sustainable rehabilitation programmes. Achieving positive exits from drug treatment in line with National Treatment Agency (part of the Strategic Health Authority, governing treatment interventions). Accommodating users from other areas in local treatment services.

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