Police drugs training activities: and international perspective

Tom Ellis, D. Denney, Claire Nee, Barry Loveday, Penny Betts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of drugs and other substances is associated in criminological literature with an increased incidence of delinquency (Loeber, 1988). There is also evidence to suggest that decreased use of drugs can decrease criminality (McMurran, 1996). To this end, the police and other agencies have sought to combat the supply and use of drugs, while traffickers and users have sought to develop increasingly sophisticated methods of avoiding enforcement action (Dom, Oette & White, 1998; Ellis, 1996; Savona, Dom & Ellis, 1993; Dorn, Murji & South, 1991). It is somewhat surprising therefore that relatively little attention has been given to the effectiveness with which police are trained to deal with drug-related offences. In the British context, HM Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) recently: found that forces and NPT' are weak in conducting the evaluation of training at all levels. (HMIC, 1999: 110) This article presents evidence that this malaise, particularly in regard to drugs training activities, appears to be a global one. The research was carried out by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice The Police Journal, Volume 74 (2001) Research Institute (UNICRI) in 8 countries: Brazil; Canada; Germany; Great Britain; Italy; the Netherlands; Russian Federation; and the USA. The study had two principal aims: first, to outline a 'typical' profile of drugs training courses in each country, and second, to identify whether there was sufficient evaluative evidence to identify the most effective practices in drugs training. What follows should, therefore, be viewed as an international pilot survey of various applications of police training methods used for drugs prevention and/or enforcement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalThe Police Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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