I have nothing at present to add to the reply which my hon. and learned Friend gave on 24th June to a Question by my hon. Friend, the Member for Wallsend (Mr. Garrett). —[Vol. 730, c. 163–4.]
My right hon. Friend will be aware that there is very deep and increasing concern about the risks which young people are running in connection with drug addiction. Would he consider this to see if it is possible to have social workers attached to the Narcotics Division to work particularly among young people?
I will certainly consider my hon. Friend's suggestion. As she knows, and as the House knows, the squad was increased in strength in March last year, and the Commissioner is anxious to see how this increase in the strength works out. As to the second point, I will look at it.
Would my right hon. Friend agree that in the Metropolitan area many drugs are pushed from purportedly private unlicensed and unregistered clubs, and that it is these uncontrolled outlets which cause great difficulty to the police? Would it not be prudent to increase the strength of the police on this class of work?
I think it may be, but we have made this substantial increase in the strength of about 20 per cent. during the course of 1966. Certainly, neither the Commissioner nor I have a closed mind upon it or regard this as the final figure.