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As a government advisor I have been asked by the Minister of Justice to prepare a report identifying policy solutions to crime in Scotland. In the following report I will focus on drugs and alcohol.

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As a government advisor I have been asked by the Minister of Justice to prepare a report identifying policy solutions to crime in Scotland. In the following report I will focus on drugs and alcohol. I will identify how these two factors relate to crime and the problems that they present. I will then make policy recommendations, which I feel will prevent or reduce criminal activity involving the two. Background When addressing the problem of whether drugs and alcohol are related to crime it is a good idea to establish figures, which, relate to the two. It can be shown that drug taking and crime are related. This is highlighted in the finding of a Glasgow University study which, found, that 31% of all people arrested in Strathclyde and Fife police regions tested positive for heroin. There study also found, that of all people arrested in these two areas 71% tested positive for some type of illegal substance. The findings for Scotland were double that of New York and five times that of Los Angeles1. Although these figures clearly show that there is major problem with drugs in Scotland, they don't do anything to show a link between drugs and crime. This will be discussed later in the report. Alcohol is another factor that is believed to be a factor in crimes, particularly crime of a violent nature. The Home Office believe that around half of all violent crimes have alcohol as the root cause. They also believe that around 70% of all late night admissions in hospitals are connected to alcohol2. Although this last statistic need not necessarily mean that the people being admitted have been victims of crime, it does highlight the problem of alcohol and the drinking cultures within the UK. ...read more.


The measure that I am talking about is the introduction of drug testing and treatment orders (DTTO)13. The aim of these DTTO's is to reduce the amount of crime used to fund users drug habits, and also to reduce drug misuse in general. DTTO's were introduced in the Crime and Disorder act of 1998. These DTTO's are given out by judges to offenders who would usually be given a prison term. These orders allow users help in coming off drugs rather than just locking them away for a few months, with the likelihood that upon release they will go back to drugs and re-offend. The people taking part in the order will be given drug counselling and there progress will be reported back to the court. They can also be given random drug tests at anytime during the order. If they break the order and keep taking drugs then there order will be revoked and they will be given a custodial sentence. These were originally piloted in Glasgow and Fife. So far studies into the effectiveness of the DTTO's have found that after six months on an order the average expenditure on drugs fell from �490 to �57 per week. These figures show just how useful these orders could be. I feel that these should be at the disposal of all ocurt in the country. The fund would initially cost the executive a lot of money to set up, nearly half a million in Glasgow alone, however the results have shown they can work and if they help reduce the amount of drug-related crime, which is estimated to cost the Scottish economy around �1 billion per year then I personally feel it would be money well spent. ...read more.


New pubs could have there layouts checked by the council to ensure that the problems highlighted in the above paragraph do not materialise. This will not necessarily reduce crime but it could lead to people getting less aggravated in crowded pubs and clubs which, could lead to a reduction in crime occurring inside the establishment or just outside it. Conclusion To conclude, it is obvious that Britain today has a major problem with people taking drugs. It also has a significant binge drinking and alcohol culture. These two factors are often cited as causes of crime and the stats show that these assumptions are not exactly false. It is due to these increasing problems that the government must act, otherwise the situation could become much worse that it currently is and more and more crimes will be committed due to these factors. Above are some factors, which the government are currently considering, or implementing, I have also added some which I feel could lead to a reduction in crime figures. If these measures are applied I feel that there could be a decrease in the number of crimes committed due to these factors. However these factors will take a long time to take noticeable effects. In the long run I feel that police should go into the schools and educate children more on the dangers of drug taking and also underage drinking. If they get across the right message then the kids will be less likely to take drugs in the future and also may not want to participate in under age drinking. This means in the future there may not be as many drug addicts and as such crime will not increase to a level higher then it already is. ...read more.

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