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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 26, 2004: New Report on Drugs in Europe

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has launched its 2004 Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in the European Union and Norway.

More Europeans are seeking treatment for cocaine-related problems, says the report. In the Netherlands and Spain, cocaine is now the second most commonly reported drug in specialist treatment centres after heroin. Growing concern is noted around crack use in a number of cities in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the UK.

Between 1% and 10% of young Europeans (aged 15–34 years) report using cocaine at some point in their life, around half of them having done so recently, says the EMCDDA. Surveys also show recent cocaine use has risen among young people in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK. In urban areas and specific sub-groups, levels of use can be much higher: some surveys in dance settings have revealed lifetime prevalence rates of 40–60%.

Quantities of cocaine seized in the EU rose in nearly all countries between 1997 and 2002. Deaths due to cocaine alone are still rare in Europe, but they are rising. In the Netherlands, while 2 deaths were attributed to cocaine alone in 1994, this figure had risen to 26 by 2001, and in the UK, references to cocaine on death certificates rose between 1993 and 2001 (although were much fewer than those linked to opiate-related deaths).

Cannabis remains the most commonly used illegal drug in the EU with roughly one in five (20%) adult Europeans having tried it at least once in their lifetime. Cannabis prevalence rates are generally highest for young people (15–34 years), ranging from less than 15% in Estonia, Portugal and Sweden and to 35% or over in Denmark, Spain, France and the UK. Surveys show that 5–20% of young Europeans have used the drug in the last 12 months.

Most people who use cannabis do so only occasionally, for limited periods. Around 15% of 15–16-year-old school students in the EU who have used cannabis in the last year are ‘heavy’ cannabis users – using a definition of 40 or more times per year. Young male students are more than twice as likely to be ‘heavy users’ as girls.

Across the EU, cannabis is the most seized drug, except for Latvia where heroin seizures predominate. Most cannabis seizures in the EU are made by the UK, followed by Spain and France. But in terms of volume, Spain has accounted for over half of the total quantity of cannabis seized in the last five years.

Ecstasy now rivals amphetamines as Europe’s No 2 drug; In some countries – Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK – ecstasy may be catching up or overtaking amphetamines as Europe’s No 2 drug after cannabis.

Europe continued to account for the majority of global seizures of amphetamine (86% by volume) in 2002. Over the last five years the main amphetamine seizing country in the EU has been the UK.

Europe remains one of the world’s most important areas for the production of ecstasy; Belgium and the Netherlands remain the most significant producing areas. Quantities of ecstasy seized rose in most EU countries in 2002. Deaths involving ecstasy are relatively rare; deaths directly caused by the drug are even rarer. In 2002, Germany reported 8 deaths where ecstasy was directly involved, France and Austria each reported 2 and Greece one.

Less than 1% of the European adult population (15–64 years) can be defined as problem drug users, totalling between 1.2 and 2.1 million problem drug users in the enlarged EU.

The number of drug-related deaths has shown a modest decline in recent years across the EU. Drug-related deaths fell from 8,838 in 2000 to 8,306 in 2001 (a small but significant 6% decrease).

Drug use in prison varies considerably across the EU. Studies show that between 8% and 60% of inmates report having used drugs while incarcerated, and between 10% and 36% report recent use. Similar variation is also found in those injecting drugs in prison – the practice is reported by as few as 0.2% and as many as 34% of inmates, depending on the prison sampled.

Download the report here.