The Home Secretary defended the Government’s drugs policy today in an attempt to regain the initiative following the controversy over the sacking of Prof. Nutt.
Last Thursday Left Foot Forward called on the Government to heed the advice of Professor Nutt, whose sacking on Friday dominated the weekend news agenda. Alan Johnson, however, brushed off the ensuing furore today by insisting drug use was at an all-time low and cannabis use was in decline.
Speaking at an RSA event on Security in the 21st Century the Home Secretary said:
“The use of drugs is at an historic low – though we’ve only been counting since 1996. We have had some success, these figures are from the British Crime Survey.
“No Government has ever presided over a decrease in crime, but we have seen a 48 per cent reduction in violent crime.
“We have more people undergoing drug treatment and rehabilitation as part of their sentence. On cannabis, cannabis use has declined over the past five years. We’re having success by tackling crime and the causes of crime.”
On the issue of terrorism, and the Tories’ belief that the Human Rights Act is compromising the Government’s ability to deal with the threat, he added:
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“In the five months I’ve been Home Secretary I haven’t seen a single case in which the Human Rights Act has impeded us, I can’t think of any circumstances in which it will – if anything, the Tory plans could hinder us.”