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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

December 2, 2005: New Police Powers To Test For Drugs On Arrest

From 1 December 2005, police are empowered to test for drugs on arrest. The new powers, which aim to reduce drug-related crime by getting offenders into treatment, were introduced by the government after consultation with the police and other agencies. 

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. The key points of the powers are as follows:

  • 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, Nottinghamshire Deputy Chief Constable and ACPO Drugs Committee Vice-Chair, 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 has also announced 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. The new powers are part of the Drugs Act 2005 and are a key part of the government's national drugs strategy to get drug users into treatment programmes.