New Powers In Force: – Test On Arrest

From 1 December police will be allowed to test for drugs on arrest

The government introduced the new powers after consultation with the police and other agencies. The new powers aim to reduce drug-related crime by getting offenders into treatment.

The scheme will initially be targeted in areas with the highest drug-linked crime rates such as Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. The powers are likely to be expanded into other areas from 31 March 2006.

Key points of the powers:

  • Offenders will be tested for heroin, crack and cocaine on arrest for acquisitive crimes, such as robbery, burglary
  • Offenders who refuse the test could face a penalty fine of up to £2500 and/or three months in prison
  • Courts will be able to deny bail unless the offender agrees to a drug assessment
  • Anyone who tests positive will be assessed by drugs workers and allocated a programme of support or treatment

Howard Roberts, Deputy Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police and Vice – Chair of the ACPO Drugs Committee said:

“ACPO welcomes the introduction of drug testing on arrest. This will definitely aid the further diversion of even more drug mis-users into treatment. The Drugs Intervention Programme, supported by greater treatment capacity, has already made a marked difference in helping reduce drug fuelled crime.”

The Government also announced today that the Home Office is seeking the views of the police, courts and drugs agencies on the setting of particular thresholds for the possession of controlled drugs.

This is to clarify the point at which the quantity of drugs in a person’s possession becomes above and beyond that reasonably held for personal use, and so help the courts to differentiate between possession and intent to supply. The consultation will run until 3 March 2006.

Heroin to be offered on the NHS

Source: BBC News
Date: 3 Dec, 2002

Heroin is to be available on the NHS to all those with a clinical need for it, as part of the government’s new drugs strategy.

About 400 heroin users already get the drug legally on NHS prescription but access nationwide is patchy.

The new drugs plan centres on a “treatment strategy” aimed at those using hard drugs like heroin and crack cocaine.

It was published amid criticism from the government’s former drugs policy co-ordinator that ministers’ stance on cannabis was now a “dog’s breakfast”.

Heroin users would be given prescribed supplies of the drug in safe, medically supervised areas, using clean needles.

A government official said the drug would be prescribed only where other treatments, such as methadone, had not worked or where doctors believed they would not work.

The plan does not extend to Scotland, where the Scottish Executive says it will monitor the move.

Cutting the rapid rise of crack cocaine use is another target of the government plan, which updates the 1998 strategy.

Cannabis trials

New plans include reducing the supply of the drug to the UK and introducing more specialist treatment programmes.

The focus on Class A drugs follows research suggesting that 99% of the costs run up by drug users comes from Class A addicts.

Clinical trials have been taking place into the use of cannabis for medical treatment.

The drugs company steering those trials is now set to apply for a licence and ministers say they are encouraged by the results of the tests so far.

Other plans in the strategy include:

  • Increasing spending on tackling drug use by 44%, taking spending to almost £1.5bn for 2005/6.
  • Expansion of residential treatment programmes.
  • Launching an education campaign in the new year, aimed at young people.
  • Mr Blunkett said: “We know cannabis is dangerous but it does not lead to the kind of total disintegration of people’s lives that heroin, crack and ecstasy do, and we know they kill.

“We are concentrating on a massive increase in treatment – we have the first National Treatment Centre – and we are going to link that with rehabilitation.”

Specific targets for reducing the numbers of people taking drugs are being dropped.

In a move that has provoked criticism, Mr Blunkett said the target of halving hard drug use by 2008 was “not credible”.

Those who prefer a more liberal strategy say the government is sending out mixed messages.

Under the new Criminal Justice Bill, to be debated by MPs this week, any individuals caught with any Class C drugs could be arrested.

Mr Blunkett downgraded cannabis from Class B to C in order to allow greater focus on Class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

That meant it remained illegal, but possession of small amounts would no longer be considered an arrestable offence.

Mixed messages?

Keith Hellawell, former UK drugs coordinator for the government, said he felt the cannabis issue had become a “dog’s dinner”.

He added: “David Blunkett is making the signal to young people that it is alright.

“He will deny it but that is the signal.”

Roger Howard, chief executive of charity DrugScope, praised the focus on hard drugs and the shift towards more treatment.

But Mr Howard added: “We regret that the government did not seize this opportunity to be more bold.

“Important opportunities to save lives have been missed by refusing to back harm minimisation schemes, such as safe injecting rooms.”

Stirring moral panic

Mr Howard argued that putting ecstasy in the same bracket as cocaine and heroin would seriously undermine the strategy’s credibility among young people.
The Conservatives have been pushing for many more rehabilitation centres for users of heroin and cocaine.

The Liberal Democrats meanwhile welcomed the focus on hard drugs but said making possession of Class C drugs an arrestable offence made a mockery of reclassifying cannabis.

Home affairs spokesman Simon Hughes said: “The government should stop whipping up moral panic about cannabis and ecstasy and focus the efforts of the criminal justice system on heroin and crack cocaine.”

Faces Of Meth

Faces of Meth™ is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. This project began when a deputy in the Corrections Division Classification Unit, Deputy Bret King, put together mug shots of persons booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. Deputy King worked with his co-workers in the Classification Unit to identify people who had been in custody more than once. He then worked to verify criminal records and files to determine and assure a history of methamphetamine related use. Deputy King also started interviewing people in custody to learn of their drug use, experiences with methamphetamine, how or if methamphetamine contributed to their criminality, and asked what they would tell young people about methamphetamine.

Below are faces of people addicted to Methamphetamine, this is how they looked before they became addicted.






The above pictures are exclusive property of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County, Oregon and are protected by copyright, 17 USC §101 et seq.

These images have been place on this site for educational purposes only and must not be copied.

For questions on use of the Faces of Meth© Mug Shots and Materials please visit

To download or purchase the Faces of Meth™ Mug Shots go to:

Change of Face

Roseanne, Melissa and Penny.

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police

Above is the dramatic changes of Roseanne’s appearance over an 8 year span of drug addiction.

Below are some pictures which are getting used by the Metropolitan Police in there latest advertising campaign to encourages Londoners to call Crimestoppers with information about drug dealers. The Met needs help from the public to gather intelligence in order to arrest dealers and put a stop to their activity. The shocking images showing the degenerative effects of drug use on addicts, “the victims of drug dealers”. The campaign media consists of outdoor posters, press advertising, nightclub flyers, radio infomercials and beer mats.

Read the Press Release & Watch The Campaign Video or Listen To The The Radio Advert

Three Stories (The Change Of Face)

Roseanne Holland

Roseanne was 29 when the first shot was taken and 37 at the time of the last photo. This horrific deterioration happened in only 8 years. Roseanne was from Florida and the images were provided by the Florida state police. Roseanne’s photos are custody photos taken when she was arrested for drug related crimes over the 8 year time span.


Melissa Collara

Melissa’s story is particularly sad owing to her young age. She was 18 when the first photo was taken and only 21 by the time the second photo was taken. During this period of time she was arrested 17 times for prostitution to pay for her crack addiction.

Her image and story were supplied by the St Petersburg Police (Florida).


Penny Wood

Penny was addicted to Class A drugs (Methamphetamine) and her decline depicted is over a 4-year period, when she was aged 36 – 40. Penny is from Chicago. Penny has written a touching letter to the Metropolitan Police Service in support of there campaign and welcomes the use of her pictures.

Penny’s letter can be accessed, in two parts below:


Penny’ Letter


Click On The Above Pictures To View The Letter

28th September 2004

Hello. I wanted to thank you for asking permission to use my photo as so many don’t. This drug is evil. There is no other way to describe it. Not only the outer disfiguration is extreme; the effects it has on your insides are worse. Young (old) people need to know that maybe for a minute you’ll be skinny and full of energy, but the long term effects are _______. I have no word to describe, but here is my story for young people to consider. It takes everything I have to walk a flight of stairs. My lungs are destroyed. I have no control over my bladder – I pee my pants all the time. I can’t take a bowel movement without a laxative. My long term and short term memories are near to none.And all this is just the beginning – I’ve only been clean 1 year and ½; so my body and brain are still not complete. Studies show that meth may cause cancer also. I want no pity, I just want these young people and old to know that this stuff does to your insides as well as the outward appearance. You can use my name and what I’ve written. People need to know and if you want or need anything from me – please don’t hesitate.

Sincerely, Penny S. Wood.

Press Release From Metropolitan Police


“DON’T LET DRUG DEALERS CHANGE THE FACE OF YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD”, is the powerful message of a Crackdown on Drugs advertising campaign launched by the Metropolitan Police Service today (01/11/04) which aims to drive drug dealers out of London’s communities.

The new campaign features actual photographs of Class A drug users to illustrate how their physical appearance deteriorates dramatically over time. The campaign aims to make the link between the devastating effect of drugs on individuals and the deterioration of whole communities. Londoners are asked to call Crimestoppers with any information to help stop the dealers.

Featured on street billboards, press advertisements, radio, beermats, and nightclub flyers, the adverts target 16 drug hot-spot boroughs around London.

Over the last two weeks the Met has targeted drugs dealers with a series of raids designed to disrupt those profiting from drugs around the capital. As a result of the raids, 146 arrests have been made, 5 kg of Class A drugs seized and more than £30,000 cash has been taken away from drug dealers.

Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, Head of the Met’s Specialist Crime Directorate (SCD), said: “The use of illegal drugs across London devastates communities and the Met is not prepared to tolerate this. The massive success of the Crackdown on Drugs raids demonstrates that we can and will stop these criminals from destroying neighbourhoods. We will continue to ensure that drug dealers in London are left in no doubt that the Met knows who they are, and will remove them from the streets”.

Commander Stephen James, head of the Met’s Drugs Directorate, added: “Drug dealers who target communities with Class A drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin precipitate a problem which extends to many other types of crime. In order to finance their addiction, many addicts turn to crime – and that crime can be very violent. We want Londoners to know that there are steps they can take to rid their communities of the dealers. By calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 they can provide anonymous information about dealers and can make a real difference in the fight against drugs.

“The advertising campaign will run over a period of three weeks in the boroughs of Brent, Camden, Croydon, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster.

One in seven young drivers drive on drugs

More than one in seven (14%) young drivers aged 17-25 admit putting lives at risk by driving after taking illegal drugs, according to a survey of 1,150 young people by Brake, the national road safety charity.

Of those who admitted driving on drugs, one in ten said they did so after consuming alcohol as well – a particularly lethal combination. It is likely that even more young drivers drive on drugs, as some drivers surveyed are likely to have failed to admit their law-breaking.

Young people are not only putting their own lives at risk, but those of their young passengers and other road users. Nearly nine in ten of the young drug-drivers surveyed said they carry passengers when driving on drink or drugs.

A huge proportion of drivers killed on our roads are young – one in four car drivers who die behind the wheel are under 25, despite this age group accounting for just one in fifteen car licence-holders. Last year, road deaths overall fell by 8%, yet deaths among 16-19 year-old drivers and passengers rose by 12%.

The survey results come just days after a coroner branded drivers who have smoked cannabis as even more dangerous than drunk-drivers, while speaking at the inquest of a four year-old who was killed by a 19 year-old driver who had smoked cannabis. Isabella Hill died after Barnaby Pearce crashed into her grandfather’s car at nearly 80mph – he had smoked two joints earlier that day. The coroner pointed out that cannabis distorts a driver’s perception of speed and their ability to react.

A study carried out on behalf of the Government shows driving on illegal drugs has increased massively over past decades and is now endemic in our society – 18% of drivers who died behind the wheel 1996-2000 had illegal drugs in their system, compared to 3% during the period 1985-1988. The latest figures from the study are due to be released later this year.

Claire Brixey’s son, Ashley, was killed in October 2004 aged 20 while travelling as a passenger in his friend’s car. His friend had been drinking and taking drugs. Claire says: “Ashley had his whole life ahead of him and this was snatched away because his friend decided to get behind the wheel after drinking and taking drugs – a deliberate decision that put his own life and his passengers’ lives at risk. It’s difficult to put into words the pain that Ashley’s death has caused, but I hope that other young people will realise the devastation caused to my family by drugged driving, and make a decision never to do it themselves.”

Barbara Pearce was seriously injured in a head-on crash with a car driven by a young man who had alcohol, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy in his system. The driver, 21, and his passenger, 25, were both killed. Barbara suffered full penetrative burns and fractured every bone from the pelvis down. Barbara says: “I used to be a professional teacher. Now I’m a professional hospital patient thanks to a drunk and drugged driver. I would urge anyone considering driving after drinking or taking drugs to think about the damage you could do to yourself or someone else in a crash – you might think it’s boring to stay sober, but imagine how boring it is never being able to walk or move about.”

Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake, says: “It’s high time that young people were made to realise the horrific consequences of drink and drugged driving. Through our helpline, Brake frequently supports families whose loved ones have been killed suddenly and violently because a driver has decided to get behind the wheel on drink or drugs. It’s a disgrace that so many young people are taking these risks and an outrage that the Government does not do more to raise awareness among this age group and invest more in policing our roads.”