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National Probation Service

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the cost of the National Probation Service was in the last 12 months; [48486]

Mr. Blunkett: The National Probation Service came into being in April 2001 when the existing 54 local services were disbanded and 42 boards created as part of a new national service to raise standards and improve performance. For example, at least one accredited behaviour programme is now available in all areas and during 2001–02 17,177 offenders were placed on these programmes by the courts.

The National Probation Service is a unified national service for England and Wales, and was established by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. It is responsible for giving courts assistance in determining the appropriate sentence, and in making other decisions, for people charged with or convicted of offences. It is further responsible for the supervision and rehabilitation of such people, including giving effect to community orders, supervising people released from prison on licence, and providing accommodation in approved premises.

In doing all this the National Probation Service has the aims of protecting the public, reducing re-offending, ensuring the proper punishment of offenders in the community, ensuring offenders' awareness of the effects of crime on the victims of crime and the public, and rehabilitating offenders.

The latest forecast expenditure for the financial year 2001–02 is £642 million. The accounts for the year ended 31 March 2002 will not be completed until October 2002.

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As of June 2001, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 15,401 members of staff (full-time equivalents) employed by the National Probation Service in probation areas.

The National Probation Directorate employed 205 members of staff (full-time equivalents) at the end of January 2002, when the latest figures were collected.

Departmental Directorates

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which directorates and units of his Department cited on his Department's website at http:// were created after May 1997. [51442]

Mr. Blunkett: I keep the organisations of all parts of the Home Office under close review to ensure that we are able to secure the ambitious agenda set for the Department in our delivery contracts and public service agreements.

The following directorates and units were created after May 1997: Criminal Justice Integration Unit and Programme Office, Criminal Justice Joint Planning Unit, Strategic Policy Team, Police Reform and Bill Unit, Police Standards Unit, Financial Crime Team, Sirius Programme Management Unit.

The following units were created but subsumed functions and staff previously located elsewhere in the Department: Family Policy Unit, Correctional Policy Unit, Criminal Justice Reform Unit, Action Against Crime and Disorder Unit, Crime Reduction Programme, Police Leadership and Powers Unit, National Technical Assistance Centre, Better Letters Team, Information Management and Technology Unit.

The following directorates and units acquired new or altered names in internal reorganisation which has been undertaken since May 1997: Business Support Unit, Marketing Communications Unit, Internal Communications Unit, Information Services Unit, Community Policy Directorate (formerly Constitutional and Community Policy Directorate prior to machinery of Government changes), Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (formerly Prisons Ombudsman), Organised Crime, Drugs and International Group (formerly Organised and International Crime Directorate), European and International Unit, Policing Organised Crime Unit, Accounting and Finance Unit, Audit and Assurance Unit, Commercial and Procurement Unit, Group Resources Unit, Performance Delivery and Strategy Unit, Business Support and Communication Unit, Merseyside Personnel Management Unit, Human Resources and Equality Unit, Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) Corporate Management Unit, RDS Crime and Criminal Justice Unit, RDS Immigration and Community Unit, RDS Offenders and Corrections Unit, RDS Policing and Reducing Crime Unit (incorporating the former Police Research Group), RDS Communications Development Unit, RDS Economics and Resource Analysis Unit.

The website also refers to units in the Fire and Emergency Planning Directorate which have been transferred to the Cabinet Office and the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. These units were located in the Home Office before the

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machinery of Government changes of 8 June 2001. Questions concerning these units should now be addressed to the Secretaries of State for the Departments concerned.

Drug Treatment and Testing Orders

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug treatment and testing orders have been made since they were introduced; and what appraisal has been made of their effectiveness. [56543]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Between 1 October 2000, when the Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) were rolled out to courts in England and Wales, and 31 March 2002, which is the latest month for which complete figures are available, 6,085 orders were made.

Results of a one-year reconviction study following the pilot programme which ran between 1 October 1998 and 31 March 2000 will be available within the next few weeks and this will be followed by a further study at the two years' stage in spring 2003. Data from the Probation Criminality Survey, which will include information about offenders subject to DTTOs will be available later in the autumn.

Drug-related Crime

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the change in the amount of drug-related crime since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [56220]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 21 May 2002]: Levels of drug-related crime cannot be directly measured as no routine statistical data are collected on whether an offence may have been committed as a result of drug taking. However, the Home Office compiles research findings and statistics that provide indirect measures of drug-related crime.

The NEW-ADAM research programme of interviewing and drug testing those arrested by the police in 16 areas sheds some light on the links between drugs and crime, but cannot provide national trend data from 1997. Fieldwork was completed this year in eight areas originally visited in 1999. Results from this project, showing the change in drug use and crime among arrestees in these eight areas will be published later this year.

We are currently reviewing the drugs strategy targets and progress against them, including those concerning drugs and crime, to ensure we still have the right balance and focus. As part of this review, we are undertaking work to improve our ability to track changes over time in drug-related crime. The outcome of the review will be announced before the summer recess.

Information is collected on the number of drug offenders. The most recent figures were published on 17 May, in Home Office Statistical Bulletin Number 4/02 "Drug Seizure and Offender Statistics, United Kingdom, 2000", copies of which will be placed in the Library. These show that from 1997 to 2000 the number of drug offenders dealt with has fallen from 114,629 to 104,390.

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Illegal Drugs

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimates have been made by his Department of the street prices of illegal drugs in each year since 1990–91. [56219]

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Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The average prices for the main illegal drugs during the period 1990–2001 are given in the table.

UK average drug prices 1990–2001

Amphetamine(13)Herbal cannabis(14)Cannabis resin(14)Cocaine(13)Crack(15)Heroin(13)Ecstasy(16)LSD(16)
November 199013.859.391.887.025.490.018.84.2
August 199112.867.884.884.622.489.819.64.3
December 199212.963.691.886.
October 199312.096.596.580.
December 199412.095.0100.
July 199511.095.0100.
September 199610.591.0114.
December 199710.
December 199810.
December 199910.089.0100.
December 20009.
December 20019.

(13) Per gram

(14) Per ounce

(15) Per 'rock', equivalent to 0.2 gram

(16) Per dose


1. These prices are based on average purity levels and do not reflect the fluctuations in price which may occur within an area as the result of law enforcement action, other interruption of supply, or even over-supply. Prices may be inflated by 'cutting' drugs, and by selling under measures. Prices increase when smaller amounts such as £10 or £20 deals are sold.

2. Data for the first half of the period are based on fewer observations and may be subject to greater uncertainty.


National Co-ordination Unit, Her Majesty's Customs (data from 1990 to 1994), National Criminal Intelligence Service (data from 1995 to 2001).

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the street price of crack cocaine in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [56533]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The National Criminal Intelligence Service collates information on street level prices of drugs. The average prices for 'crack' cocaine during the period 1996–2001 are given in the following table.

I view the availability of crack cocaine with concern. I have established an expert group on the treatment of crack cocaine addiction and I am organising a conference to develop more effective solutions to the problems caused by crack cocaine.

We are also working to ensure that routes into Britain for crack cocaine are shut down as effectively as possible. The total amount of cocaine (including crack) seized in 2000 rose to an all-time record of 3,970 kilograms, an increase of about one metric tonne on the previous year.

United Kingdom average crack cocaine prices 1996–2001

September 199620
December 199720
December 199820
December 199920
December 200023
December 200121

(17) Per rock, equivalent to 0.2 gram


These prices are based on average purity levels and do not reflect the fluctuations in price that may occur within an area as the result of law enforcement action, other interruption of supply, or even over-supply. In addition to this, prices can be inflated by 'cutting' drugs, and by selling under measures.


National Criminal Intelligence Service