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A blueprint for taking drugs off the street was published by the home office today. The report recommends a three-p...
A blueprint for taking drugs off the street was published by the home office today. The report recommends a three-pronged attack by local businesses, the local authority and the police to stop drug dealers damaging communities.

'Tackling Local Drug Markets' suggests ways of stopping the sale of Class A drugs such as cocaine, crack and heroin on the streets. It looked at six dealing sites in London.

The Police Research Group's report suggests that the best preventive action against drug peddling is to make sure that the neighbourhood is unattractive to both dealers and users.

This can be achieved by:

-- people in the local community eg shop owners, cab firms and park attendants reporting incidents of drug dealing to the police

-- extending the use of CCTV systems in communities

-- police monitoring mobile telephones used by dealers

-- creating a well-lit environment

The report suggests that local planning and housing agencies could play an important part in deterring dealers by:

-- housing individuals with suspected drug problems across the wider community to avoid creating 'ghettos'

-- spreading needle exchanges and dispensing pharmacists across a less concentrated area to discourage dealers and users from gathering in one centre.

The report also suggests:

-- tightening up the operation of the private prescription system and pharmacy dispensing to reduce the leakage of pharmaceutical drugs

-- devising a strategy to reduce street prostitution - since street prostitutes and their clients are major users of hard drugs

Home office minister David Maclean said:

'I welcome the wide-ranging recommendations of this report which will help rid the streets of the problem of hard drug taking.

'Drug taking ruins lives and destroys communities.

'It is important that our society does everything it can to protect everyone in Britain from the harm caused by drug dealers.

'I am sure the report's recommendations will help the police and Drug Action Teams to develop further strategies to meet the objectives set out in the government's White Paper 'Tackling Drugs Together'.

'Finding new ways to stop drug dealing will not only make life much harder for the criminals who peddle drugs but will reduce the number of future drug victims.'

-- The home office research report 'Tackling Local Drug Markets' by Mark Edmunds, Michael Hough and Norman Urquia is available from the Police Research Group, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT.

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