§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed(a) in the last 12 months and (b) in the last three years in the UK that were drug-related. 
§ Mr. Charles Clarke
Statistical data are collected on drug offences only, not on offences which may have been committed due to drug taking. A report published in 1998 on research carried out on behalf of the Home Office by the University of Cambridge sheds light on the links between drugs and crime. Further data are currently being analysed as part of the NEW-ADAM programme for interviewing and drug testing arrestees. It is hoped to publish the next set of full results in the first half of this year.
The research undertaken so far on drug testing of arrestees, based in five locations, indicates that over 60 per cent. of arrestees had recently taken at least one illegal drug prior to arrest. Cannabis was found most often (46 per cent. of cases); heroin/opiates (18 per cent.) and 552W cocaine/crack (10 per cent.) featured quite prominently. These findings confirm the supposition that offenders tend to be heavy consumers of drugs.
Nearly half the arrestees who reported taking drugs within the last year said that their drug misuse was connected with their offending. Among various factors, they emphasised the need for the money to buy drugs. The illegal income of arrestees who said that they had taken heroin and/or crack during the last three days was particularly high—within a range of £10,000 to £20,000 annually. This compared with £4,000 for other arrestees. Illegal income mainly resulted from acquisitive crimes against property. An estimated 32 per cent. of all illegal income was spent on purchasing heroin and/or crack cocaine.
While this study considerably advances knowledge of drugs-crime links, it will always be difficult to calculate a single percentage figure reflecting precisely what proportion of all crimes is drug-related.
Figures on drug offences in 1997 were published in April 1999 in Home Office Statistical Bulletin No. 8/99 "Drug seizure and offender statistics, United Kingdom, 1997". Figures for 1998 will be published in February 2000, copies of which will be placed in the Library.