New Psychoactive Substances: EUC Report — Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 11th November 2013.

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Photo of Baroness Meacher Baroness Meacher Crossbench 8:15 pm, 11th November 2013

Will the Minister accept that the UK Border Agency, leading ACPO officers and many other officials and experts in the field will say that even if a new psychoactive substance is banned, that does not mean that children and young people all over the country are not getting it? They are. The UK Border Agency, for example, talked about its great big warehouse with mountains of little packages; it has no idea what is in those packages—just lots and lots of white powders. Those packages are seized from the post, but the UKBA says that it is a drop in the ocean: it is not touching it or scraping at the edge of the thing at all. Will the Minister accept that we do not and cannot control these new psychoactive substances because they are purchased on the web and delivered direct to children’s and young people’s homes? Therefore, we need a more sophisticated approach to this, which is why the European Union has come to the conclusion that we need to think about the low-risk substances—to differentiate, have a proportionate response and so on. It is just not good enough to say, “We have a system; it works”. The fact is that it does not; the Government’s people recognise that it is not working.