Feedback required for pilot project

Monday, 10 November, 2008

Drugs database launched by SOCA

A new database which provides forensic intelligence about Class A drug seizures from across the country is being piloted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Data including analysis of wrappings and the chemical profiles of drugs will be brought together from all police forces and forensic science providers to a single point. The aim is to help investigators and intelligence experts to cross reference details, identify links, and map drugs more accurately across the UK. It will be the most comprehensive database of drug seizure information ever compiled in the UK.

A pilot project has been set up with £400,000 funding from the Home Office to test the practical value and the strategic and tactical benefits of the database, and SOCA is inviting law enforcement partners to feed back their views. A decision on whether to extend the arrangements beyond the pilot phase will be taken once all the evidence from the pilot has been assessed.

SOCA Director General Bill Hughes said, "The misery caused to local communities by drugs is the end of a chain which usually begins abroad. Understanding how the global level links to the local level means SOCA and its partners are better able to disrupt that chain.

"We believe that this could be a significant tool for drug investigators. But we are making no assumptions. The point of piloting this idea is to find out if it works in practice, so we need our partners to feed back to us on the pilot."

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said, "Law enforcement agencies are making great strides in getting drugs off our streets, but we must do all that we can to target the drugs suppliers who ruin lives. I hope that law enforcement agencies will use and benefit from the new drug seizures database and that it will prove to be a vital tool in continuing the fight to get drugs off our streets."

Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who chairs the ACPO Drugs Committee, said, "The police service is committed to reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs on the streets of the UK and all forces will be taking part in this pilot to track down those involved in this form of organised crime. We await the outcomes with interest".

The pilot will run for around three months. A dedicated helpline and email address have been set up. For more information visit the ACPO intranet.

Return to news menu