Examining the potential impact of the seizure and investigation of illegal drug consignments on local communities
The project aims to understand the wider impact of the seizure and investigation of illegal drug consignments on local crime rates, the health of the community and the activities of the drug- using population in that community.
Using linked data will increase our understanding of the impact of these operations by including the impact on health. The project will also use the data to improve estimates of the level of illegal drug use in local areas in Scotland.
More about the project
The aim of this project is to understand the impact on local communities of disruptions to the drugs market in Scotland.
Every day, parcels entering the UK are subjected to scrutiny by the UK Border Force to detect illegal drugs, weapons and other prohibited items. When illegal drugs are detected, the parcel is seized and the National Crime Agency has first refusal to adopt the case for further investigation to secure evidence of criminality, or to pass the case to Police Scotland who in turn decide whether an investigation, warning or whether seizure itself is the most appropriate action.
However, little is known about the impact of these different operational strategies on the local areas for which these packages were destined. To better understand the wider impacts of these different law enforcement strategies, this project analyses the outcomes of these decisions on a number of outcomes: local crime rates (especially those relating to drug related crime), the health of the community and the activities of the drug using population within that community. Using data linkage broadens our capacity to understand the impact of these operations to include relevant health outcomes. A further methodological aim of the project is to use data on intercepted packages to improve estimates of the level of illegal drug use in local areas in Scotland.
Dr Chris Playford, Prof Susan McVie, Prof Chris Dibben, Stuart Weatherley (National Crime Agency)