Police forces, like many other organisations and agencies, are experiencing cuts to their budget. Alongside this are changes to the way in which policing priorities and direction will be set with responsibility passing to the proposed elected Police and Crime Commissioners. To identify different perspectives on what change is occurring at local levels and the impact this may have on drug-related policing activities, a questionnaire was distributed to all English forces and Basic Command Units (BCUs). In all, 74% of forces, and 25% of BCUs and 9 other units responded.
This briefing describes the key findings from this survey and a workshop of police officers working in drug enforcement. It suggests that the continuing pressure to save money and identify efficiences may be leading to a greater focus on policing the most visible and pressing issues in the short term. If this is at the expense of activities of long term and ‘deeper’ benefit, it might have a negative impact on other key policy initiatives.