Crime and harm to others





The World Health Organisation's report 'Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda':
"Alcohol intoxication is strongly associated with aggressive and violent behaviour."

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report 'Government Drugs Policy: Is it Working?':
"...alcohol plays a part in .... about half of the incidents of domestic violence. Moreover, in about 40 percent of violent crimes committed in the year 2000 the aggressor was under the influence of alcohol."

Home Office:
"Alcohol misuse contributes significantly to crime levels, through alcohol specific offences, for example being drunk and disorderly in public, offences against the licensing laws such as selling or serving alcohol to under-age drinkers, offences committed under the influence of alcohol: it has been estimated that 40% of violent crime 78% of assaults and 88% of criminal damage cases are committed while the offender is under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is often consumed by offenders and victims prior to the offence being committed, and it is inextricably linked to disorder around licensed premises. In addition, fear of alcohol related violence or intimidation may well mean that large numbers of people avoid city centres on weekend evenings. Against this background, over 70% of the local crime audits conducted by crime and disorder partnerships identified alcohol as an issue: over 40% of the audit documents highlighted drunkenness as an issue, and 60% related public order problems to alcohol."

"…between 60% and 70% of men who assault their partners do so under the influence of drink."
"Criminal activity linked with alcohol abuse costs the taxpayer another 68m, while 41% of violent crimes, including assaults and muggings, are committed by somebody who has been drinking.",8150,410967,00.html


Government reply to the report 'Tobacco Industry and Health Risks of Smoking':
"Hundreds of people die every year in the UK as a result of high levels of exposure to passive smoke".

NHS Health Development Agency:
"The report [World Health Organization European Partnership Project to Reduce Tobacco Dependence] estimates that 17,000 children under five enter hospital each year as a result of passive smoking which is also associated with asthma, glue ear and cot death".

BBC News:
"One in eight shops is continuing to sell cigarettes illegally to children who are under the age of 16".

HM Customs and Excise:
"With an estimated 2.5 billion in revenue being drained from the public purse each year by tobacco smugglers alone and a further 215 million lost through alcohol smuggling, the problem of excise fraud is a real one."

World Health Organization:
"Illicit trade in tobacco products contributes to the global death and disease burden caused by tobacco consumption, said the World Health Organization during an international conference on illicit tobacco trade being held at the United Nations in New York".


The World Health Organisation's report 'Cannabis: a health perspective and research agenda'
"There is little to suggest that causal relationship of cannabis use to aggression or violence."

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report 'The classification of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971':
"4.3.6 Cannabis differs from alcohol, however, in one major respect: it seems not to increase risk-taking behaviour. Cannabis intoxication tends to produce relaxation and social withdrawal rather than the aggressive and disinhibited behaviour commonly found under the influence of alcohol. This means that cannabis rarely contributes to violence either to others or to oneself, whereas alcohol use is a major factor in deliberate self-harm, domestic accidents and violence."
"4.7.1 Cannabis appears not to make as major a contribution to road traffic or other accidents as alcohol. ... cannabis use does not commonly produce the mental states leading to violence to others".

Illegal drugs:

Home Affairs Select Committe Third Report 'Government Drugs Policy: Is it Working?':
"35. The relation between drug use and crime is a subject of much debate. To quote Mr Hellawell once again, "all drug takers do not commit crime". However, there seem to be three relevant types of crime which are associated with drugs: organised crime involved with the supply of illicit drugs, acquisitive crime committed by some drug users to fund a habit, and violent crime committed by disinhibited stimulant users.
36. On some estimates, one third of all property crime in the UK is judged to be drug related. Preliminary data from the Home Office "demonstrate much higher reported levels of acquisitive offending among users of heroin and cocaine/crack than among those arrestees who use other types of drug, or who do not use drugs at all".
These addicts each spend around 16,500 on their drugs a year, of which an average of 13,000 is the proceeds of crime.
37. It is also self-evident that the estimated 6.6 billion spent on drugs by users each year represents a lucrative source of revenue to the suppliers—mostly organised crime—and it would be surprising if this did not generate considerable violence amongst drug dealers seeking to extend or protect their territory.
38. We believe that drugs policy should primarily be addressed to dealing with the 250,000 problematic drug users rather than towards the large numbers whose drug use poses no serious threat either to their own well-being or to that of others.