Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1160
TUESDAY 22 JANUARY 2002
OBE, MRS MARY
1160. What effect do you think legalising or
prescribing drugs would have on destroying or undermining the
illegal market for the drug barons?
(Mr Broughton) I think we talked about what happened
in North America with alcohol prohibition. Gangsters will be gangsters,
they will develop according to what the market tells them. If
there is any form of legalisation in relation to cannabis there
will still be a market. If you state manufacture cannabis and
legalise cannabis you would be saying, not for children, and then
there will be a criminal market for children. It is a self fulfilling
circle, that those who exploit the situations will continue to
(Mr Raynes) There is one other point that might be
interesting for you, if the Home Secretary's suggestion that cannabis
is down graded to class C succeeds and the maximum penalty is
five years, the maximum penalty for tobacco is seven years. Customs
has already stoppeda policy I disagree withtargeting
major cannabis traffickers, so it is open house on cannabis now.
Some of the paramilitaries in Northern Ireland use tobacco smuggling
and/or cannabis funding as their prime source of funding. There
have been some huge seizures of cigarettes on ships off Northern
1161. Tobacco funding is to avoid tax?
(Mr Raynes) It is smuggling. If cannabis is down graded
to class C and the maximum penalty is five years you can expect
more people to be smuggling cannabis. The smugglers are not commodity
driven, apart from, possibly, heroin, for the rest of it they
are not commodity driven, they smuggle what they have a market
for, and they moved into tobacco in a big way four years ago.
Customs are dealing with that and it is having some success. We
can expect if cannabis is down graded, it is probably already
happening because of the signals that have gone out, more criminals
to be involved in cannabis because nobody will be targeting them.
1162. On the issue of drugs and crimeI
sit as a judge in a lot of criminal courts round the London areamy
experience of nearly all acquisitive crime, burglary, theft and
nonviolent, at least 70 per cent of is it is driven by the need
to acquire property to sell property to raise money for heroin.
Any comment on that?
(Mr Raynes) Mr Howard says here, "Most people's
criminal careers started well before their drug use. These people
were engaged in criminal behaviour well before...."
1163. Which Mr Howard are we talking about?
(Mr Raynes) Roger Howard from DrugsScope. I think
that is right, a lot of people are involved in crime and drugs
are part of their lifestyle.
1164. It is heroin for non-violent crime, by
(Mr Raynes) Heroin is mainly shoplifting, not domestic
burglary, which does not produce enough money any more.
(Mr Broughton) I am reluctant to answer your question
honestly because we are encouraged not to stereotype in the Police
Service, but it is clear that you can categorise certain crimes
in certain numbers to certain types of drug users. It is a dangerous
track to follow because there is always the example that will
go against that, that is why stereotyping is not a great thing.
There is some truth in that, what crack users, cannabis users
and heroin users and the sort of crime that you can indicate they
do seem to fall into certain categories.
1165. The question on sentencing, my impression
is that successive Governments do their best but they are up against
it in terms of actuallycuring is the wrong wordthe
drug addict's problem, without some sort of compulsion in the
sentencing the existing government policy on sentencing, and the
previous Government's, is not going to get us very far. Is there
anything in that?
(Mr Broughton) I do not know whether you were out
of the room when I was talking about what the UK Drugs Policy
tries to do, enforcement, punishment and treatment, and getting
those co-ordinated in terms of how the magistrate or the Crown
Court can deal with it, what the options are to divert people
from drugs or attempt to treat them or attempt to try to solve
some of the root of the problems of this, which I think is a very
sound policy. On the issue of resourcing, and there always is
the issue about how much money and how much resources, there is
an issue of how much policing there is involved in this. We are
living in a city where we have had a reduction in the number of
police officers and an increase in some of the problems of drugs.
You could look at that equation and wonder why we have got to
reduce the number of police officers in this city. The issue about
resources and how much effort we put in to try to solve this problem
is the critical issue. The academic debate about this is one thing
but what is going to happen in practice is, for me, the important
1166. Mr Raynes, I want to ask you first of
all regarding the view that you put forward in your memorandum
where you say "The most articulate forces for change have
a metropolitan base and are often connected with the media".
Why have you come to that view?
(Mr Raynes) Observation over the last 12 or 18 months,
I think. One would believe that there is a major
1167. A little bit of stereotyping here perhaps?
(Mr Raynes) Unlike the police I found stereotyping
very useful. So have the police but they have been told to ignore
it and I have retired. There is supposedly a debate raging. Peter
Stoker has done a graph, which I do not think we have given to
you, of public opinion on cannabis and what events have changed
it. We have got this graph going off the chart now. If you ask
people do they want cannabis legalised 60 per cent of people say
yes, whereas 18 months ago they did not. There are a lot of events
that have gone into that: the Police Foundation Report, more media
debate. I do my best, and Peter Stoker does his best, to appear
on balanced tv programmes and discussions and so on, but quite
often we are overwhelmed by the numbers against us. I think we
often feel that we are being put in just to give an impression
of balance but there is no real balance there. There are certain
members of the Police Foundation, Simon Jenkins is one, who I
disagree with fundamentally. We see what he writes in the paper
and there are other people. The media are tilting the debate about
cannabis a lot of the time. It is my own observation, and we could
produce press cuttings for you and so on, but I do not think the
public at large are asking for that because drug users are such
a minority of the population, it is the media and it is a campaign
and debate largely being conducted within the media.
1168. What would you say really, without putting
it in too melodramatic terms? I will not use plot or conspiracy
because you do not. You say in effect, am I not right, Mr Raynes,
that it is not really a matter which affects the rest of the country,
there is no pressure for change, it comes from a narrow, if you
like London, at most south east, base and if it was not for those
people, the media and perhaps the liberal or left-wing newspapers,
there would be no pressure for change at all?
(Mr Raynes) I am not saying that there would be none
but it would be considerably less. Who speaks for the parents?
Who speaks for the Parent Teacher Associations? Most parents say
they do not want their children to use drugs, they are not appearing
in front of you. There is a huge number of people out in the population
who do not want their kids to use drugs and want all the help
that society can give them to keep them off drugs, but who is
speaking for them? We are trying to speak for them today.
1169. Some of us are parents of school age children.
(Mr Raynes) You know the concerns. We all have those
concerns. There are an awful lot of people out there who are not
familiar with the media and do not represent themselves and do
not articulate their feelings in the media.
1170. The Daily Telegraph gave a favourable
response to the Police Foundation Report. Would you put the Daily
Telegraph also amongst the media people, because obviously
it is media, eager for change?
(Mr Raynes) One does not often think of the Daily
Telegraph like that but the Police Foundation Report, for
me, did not have enough science in it. I think Mary wants to come
1171. If I can just carry on with Mr Raynes,
I will come on to the other witnesses. When you talk about a metropolitan
pressure I notice in your evidence you say you attended the Cleveland
(Mr Raynes) Yes.
1172. We have had a letter, as a matter of fact,
circulated very recently with our papers from the Cleveland Police
Authority, which presumably are not part of the metropolitan set-up
(Mr Raynes) No.
1173. Geographically that would be rather difficult.
They say, in effect, that the drug policy is simply not working.
They argue for substantial changes, not necessarily full legislation
but certainly for substantial changes in the law. Would you say,
therefore, this is simply an exception to the pressure from the
(Mr Raynes) It is one of the exceptions, yes. I told
you about the doctor who wrote the paper which has gone to ACPO,
he did not understand that you could actually get a licence to
prescribe heroin. He was on a platform with Danny Kushlik and,
in fact, Danny Kushlik of Transform had to correct himextraordinary.
I do not agree with the Cleveland Police Authority and, in fact,
the Cleveland Police Authority, who ran that conference, are not
unanimous about it. There are some members of the Cleveland Police
Authority who feel very strongly that they have gone down the
wrong route. In fact, the NDPA has written to them and offered
to do a presentation to them. It was not unanimous. It was the
Police Authority and they were acting on information given to
them by the Chief Constable and others.
1174. It is a Police Authority obviously putting
forward a point of view somewhat outside of London and the South
(Mr Raynes) Yes.
1175. We have had evidence, and I will come
to Mr Broughton in a moment because no doubt he will wish to comment,
from organisations representing senior police officers, certainly
not confined to the metropolitan area, who argue that, in fact,
there is a case for change in the law and moreover former chief
constables. Are they also part of the metropolitan set-up?
(Mr Raynes) Mr Wilkinson is atypical, the ex-Chief
Constable of Gwent, he is one of them. I do not know whether he
has appeared before you but he has written two pamphlets.
1176. He did.
(Mr Raynes) Has he appeared? Right. I have appeared
on a platform and debated with Mr Wilkinson. He is not typical
of chief constables. When I was Assistant Chief Investigation
Officer I had nine chief constables I had liaison with and he
was the only one of my nine who spoke in the way that he did,
that was at the time that I was in post, and then he retired.
I do not think the present Chief Constable of Gwent feels like
him. I cannot speak for him but I do not think he accepts Mr Wilkinson's
views. Mr Wilkinson wants legalisation of all drugs, legalisation,
free availability over the counter as I understand it. That is
a pretty extreme view and there are one or two MPs who think that.
1177. He does not come from the metropolitan
(Mr Raynes) He does not, no, but the point in my submission
was about the media debate that has been a manufactured media
debate and that is largely driven by the metropolitan area.
1178. Can I put this to you, Mr Raynes, and
I hope you do not mind me putting it in such terms. Do you not
feel that you would have strengthened your case against any changes
in the law if you had not given the impression that this is a
metropolitan move or pressure from the metropolitan part of the
world, London based? There are many people up and down the country
who believe that the law as such is not working and, although
you disagree with them, what I am saying is would it not have
strengthened your case in arguing for the status quo if you had
not given the impression that there is a plot simply from some
people in the media in the London area?
(Mr Raynes) I did not say there was a plot but there
are a lot of people joined together in presenting things as public
opinion and I do not believe it is public opinion. You have got
to understand that the legalise drugs lobby is very, very well
financed, enormously well financed, by one of the richest men
in the world.
David Winnick: You are giving the impression
of a plot now.
1179. Name him.
(Mr Raynes) I did not say the media. The media event
is not a plot but there is a plot and orchestration in the legalise
drugs campaign internationally, there is no doubt about that.
They are going through a series of eventsnormalise it,
legalise it, decriminalise itin steps.
Mr Cameron: Who is providing the money?