Approved Premises (Substance Testing) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:52 pm on 29th October 2021.

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Photo of Rob Butler Rob Butler Conservative, Aylesbury 1:52 pm, 29th October 2021

I hope that my hon. Friend will support the Bill today, and that sounded like a very good effort at volunteering to be a member of the Bill Committee. I am now drawing to a conclusion, and I beg the indulgence of my hon. Friends in not making further interventions for the moment.

The Bill may seem fairly insignificant or even trivial to some, but drug use is pervasive. It is so often the major driver in the commission of crimes. In the 12 years that I spent as a magistrate, I lost count of the number of defendants who appeared in front of me either because they were stealing to feed their habit, or because they had committed the offence when they were high. Anything we can do to help people steer clear of drugs, including psychoactive substances and illicit medication, has the potential to cut crime.

The House has the opportunity today to support provisions that would enable us to better identify and respond to new and emerging patterns of drug use in approved premises, which would help to reduce the number of drug-related deaths and, ultimately, support reductions in reoffending. I hope that the benefits I have laid out in some detail are clear and that the Bill will gain support from Members on both sides.