Home affairsWritten evidence submitted by Chief Constable Andy Bliss, ACPO lead on drugs [DFU 03]

When I appeared before the Committee on Tuesday 19th November 2013 I offered to share with you a short report prepared for me by Detective Inspector Trevor Williamson in relation to prescription drugs from the organised crime perspective.

This was prepared for me as Chair of the UK Drugs Threat Reduction Board. The Board at that time coordinated law enforcement activity across a range of agencies, including the police and SOCA in relation to drug related organised crime.

I attach a copy of the restricted document.1

In relation to evidence that medical professionals have been prosecuted; such data is not readily accessible at a national level. In the time available I have sought a view from Inspector Caryn James-Bailey, the Metropolitan Police Drugs Directorate whose role involves managing Controlled Drug Liaison Officers and who writes as follows:

“In the past 18 months in the MPS we have had several investigations involving healthcare professionals where they have either sold prescription medicine and CD’s under the counter to patients. Most recently we have been investigating 17 people in the London area linked to the BBC undercover investigation of pharmacies. Here we had seven pharmacies selling medication without prescriptions. We unfortunately we were only able to prosecute three due to CPS advice. We also have arrested nurses and doctors who have been prescribing for themselves or family members. The most common incident for us in the MPS, Suffolk and Dorset is the prescribing of prescription medication to be sent abroad. On one occasion a registered doctor asked for out of date stock to be left outside peoples houses for him to collect (like a charity bag) this was then being sent abroad to be sold. Our biggest concern is the over prescribing of medication by doctors which maybe diverted by their patients. However, due to the guidelines and advice of the GMC prescribing by doctors to their patients is a grey area.”

I am afraid that, in the time available, this information is not fully comprehensive but I hope that it is of some assistance to the Committee

Andy Bliss QPM, Chief Constable, Hertfordshire Constabulary
Association of Chief Police Officers lead on drugs

November 2013

1 Not printed.

Prepared 19th December 2013