Key findings from the drug crimes evidence briefing.
Proactive street level-initiatives
Proactive street level initiatives that have the most potential to sustain reductions in drug-related crime:
- target specific geographical places
- use a problem-solving approach
There's limited high-quality evidence on the impact of supplier arrest and seizure on a range of drug-related outcomes. The available evidence is mixed.
Forces investing in supply disruption tactics should carry out good quality evaluations. This allows them to identify the impact of the approaches, including cost benefit and sustainability.
Police-led diversion strategies that help prolific offenders to access support services may be effective.
There's strong evidence to suggest that focused deterrence strategies reduce crime. While the greatest reductions are seen in gang-related crime, they have also been effective for drug market interventions.
However, focus needs to be on ensuring these are well implemented.
Prevention and early intervention
Early intervention activity is effective in reducing risk factors associated with drug use and in turn, drug use itself.
Approaches that target multiple risk behaviours – as opposed to targeting drug use alone – are most likely to be beneficial.
Alongside police-led strategies, taking a public health approach and focusing on early intervention can be effective in reducing the risk of individuals taking drugs later in life.