Home Department written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Humfrey Malins Humfrey Malins Shadow Minister, (Assisted By Shadow Law Officers)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to reduce the supply of drugs from Afghanistan to the UK.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Correctional Services and Reducing Re-offending), Home Office

The UK, as lead nation, is supporting the Afghan Government in the implementation of their comprehensive National Drug Control Strategy. We are working with others to increase activity in all areas of their strategy over the coming year.

As well as coordinating the activity of international partners, the UK is providing substantial financial and practical support—the Government will spend more than £50 million this year on counter narcotics work in Afghanistan, including £30 million on alternative livelihoods. In the last financial year we ran seven training courses on intelligence and investigation techniques for the Afghan Counter-Narcotics Police; supported five major seizures of opiates; provided a mobile forensic laboratory; and helped to establish regional law enforcement offices in seven provincial centres outside Kabul.

In addition, the UK is working with Afghanistan's neighbours and other main transit countries to increase international effort, build capacity and improve operational co-operation.

At our borders Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs deploy staff at ports and airports to cover high-risk arrivals. Officers use risk assessment techniques and specific intelligence, gathered from a variety of sources, to ensure that the resources available are utilised to best effect. They also use a range of equipment, such as drug detection scanners, to assist them.

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