Drug offences recorded by the police include offences involving trafficking of drugs and possession of drugs. In the year ending March 2017, there were 136,342 drug offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. There were 4,965,270 offences recorded by the police in the same period. Drug offences accounted for 2.7% of all crime recorded by the police in the year ending March 2017.
It is unlawful to have a controlled drug in your possession unless you have authorisation in the form of a licence – for example, a prescription – or if you did not know the substance was a controlled drug.
It is an offence for a person to have a controlled drug in their possession, whether lawfully or not, with the intent to supply it to another who has no legal right to possess it.
Supply is the simple act of passing a controlled drug from one person to another. It does not matter if it was for profit or not.
The Metropolitan Police definition of drugs is:
- Possession, consumption, supply of or the intent to supply illegal drugs.
- Drug reporting is broken down into three sub categories
- Drug trafficking
- Other drugs
- Possession of drugs
Key data points
Drugs (12 month rolling to May 2018)
Data source: Metropolitan Police Crime Data Dashboard
- There has been a downward trajectory in drug offences across both Bexley and London.
- Bexley reported drug offences are 549 for the 12 month period.
- Drug offences have decreased by 1.3% & 6.5% in Bexley and London respectively.
- Drug trafficking has reduced by 27.7% compared to the previous 12 month period.
The map below highlights the most prominent wards for police activity in relation to drug offences.
There is currently no specific way of identifying alcohol related crime. A specialised search of police data for allegations from 2016 and 2017 was undertaken to identify where alcohol had been involved in the following crime allegations.
|Alcohol 2016||Alcohol 2017||Difference|
|Fraud or Forgery||0||2||2|
|Other Accepted Crime||1696||1607||-89|
|Other Notifiable Offences||103||114||11|
|Theft and Handling||427||421||-6|
|Violence Against the Person||1944||1880||-64|
The number of alcohol related allegations during 2017 decreased by 181 compared to 2016.
The highest volume reduction -89 was for Other Accepted Crime (includes forgery, perjury and other miscellaneous crime), followed by Violence Against the Person -64, the highest increases were for Robbery 25 and Burglary 16.
In the London Borough of Bexley the service is delivered via the Integrated Substance Misuse Service by providing a number of activities which include:
- Providing engagement activities in Plumstead Custody Suite
- Responding to positive drug tests
- Responding to service users who voluntarily requesting drug and alcohol treatment
- Being the point of contact for professionals and service users
- Undertaking full comprehensive assessments
- Extensive partnership working within the criminal justice system and with the wider partnership including housing and health providers
- Providing the link between community services and prisons
The integrated service provides the treatment aspect for service users that have been awarded Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Rehabilitation Requirement (ATR) Orders and work closely with Police and Probations in the management of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) service
Specialised Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Bexley
Bexley Drug and Alcohol Treatment System was re commissioned in 2016/17 and the new service; The Pier Road Project opened in July 2017 providing a range of interventions in the community and facilitating referrals to in-patient and residential settings.
The aim of the service is to deliver activities that result in people that are experiencing difficulties with their drug and alcohol use to receive treatment to enable them to achieve recovery in line with:
Drug Strategy 2017
UK Guidelines on Clinical Management Drug Misuse and Dependence
Drug and alcohol addiction is a key cause of societal harm, including crime, family breakdown and poverty. Public Health England report that 1.2 million people are affected by drug addiction in their families, mostly in poorer communities. Offences in which the consumption of alcohol is thought to have played a role of some kind in the committing of the offence, usually in the sense that the offender was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Examples of offences often committed by people under the influence are assault, breach of the peace, criminal damage and other public order offences.
Whilst drug dependence can affect anyone, we know that those in our society with a background of childhood abuse, neglect, trauma, poverty or mental health problems are disproportionately likely to be affected. In turn, the children of those dependent on drugs have to cope with the impact on their own development and there are often negative outcomes and in their lives.
Young people’s substance use is a distinct problem. The majority of young people do not use drugs and of those that do, most are not dependent. However, substance misuse can have a major impact on young people’s education, their health, their families and their long-term life chances. Cannabis and alcohol are the most common substances used by young people. A previous spike in the use of the ‘new psychoactive substances’ (NPS), which were also known as legal highs, has reduced, probably as a result of the restricted availability following legislation in 2016.
Broadly, in Bexley the treatment journey comprises of 3 distinct phases:
The Drug Intervention Programme commenced nationally in April 2003, it aims to provide a beginning-to-end support system that can direct drug using service users out of crime and into treatment.
The following data highlights test on arrest for opiates and cocaine. During 2016 there were 210 tests of which 58 tested positive for cocaine, 3 for opiates, and 24 for both opiates and cocaine. During 2017 there were 62 people tested of which 14 tested positive for cocaine, 3 for opiates and 11 for both opiates and cocaine.
Performance for Drug and Alcohol Intervention Programme 2017/18
|Percentage of those assessed be taken into DIP caseload||
|Percentage of those referred to structured treatment are new referrals||
|Percentage of criminal justice opiate users to successfully complete treatment||
|Percentage of criminal justice non-opiate and alcohol users to successfully complete treatment||
|Percentage of adult substance misuse treatment need who successfully engage with community based structured treatment following release from prison||
The Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service provides the treatment aspect for service users that have been awarded Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) and Alcohol Rehabilitation Requirement (ATR) Orders through the courts and work closely with Police and Probations in the management of the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) service
Preventative measures have been undertaken and how awareness has been raised.
A key aspect of Bexley Integrated Substance Misuse service is to engage service users in to treatment early in their career to prevent offending and for service users currently in the criminal justice system to prevent further offending by delivering treatment interventions that promote recovery.
The Bexley treatment population gender demographic is in line with national profiles having 70% males and 30% females. The borough population profile identifies a more evenly distributed profile between males and females indicating that there is proportionately a higher number of the male population in treatment.
For those individuals in treatment in Bexley the treatment population shows that there is a higher proportion of white individuals than the borough profile in treatment with the reverse for other ethnicities.
The mainly used drugs in Bexley is alcohol, opiates and crack and cocaine, this represents 72% of the Bexley treatment population.
- Up to date knowledge of local trends from specialist young people’s drug services
- Risk education delivered to young people and parents around substance misuse
- Greater recognition of mental health links to substance misuse (dual diagnosis) and the relation to crime & disorder.
- An audit of hot-spot locations for drug paraphernalia finds from street cleansing teams, parks officers, housing associations etc.
- Further joint work needed between the Community Safety Team, Public Health, and substance misuse commissioning to identify emerging issues in relation to drugs and alcohol-related crime, and recommend approaches to prevent and/or address these