Developing a set of indicators on drug markets, crime and supply reduction in Europe
The need to scale up the monitoring of illicit drug supply in Europe is an important component of the current EU action plan and EMCDDA work programme 2010–12. In October 2010, the first European conference on drug supply indicators, organised by the European Commission and the EMCDDA, with the active involvement of Europol, (1) initiated work on the conceptualisation of technically sound and sustainable indicators in this area of key importance for European drug policy.
According to the strategy adopted, the overall conceptual framework to monitor illicit drug supply will integrate three components: drug markets, drug-related crime and drug supply reduction. Special attention will be given to the possible standardisation, extension and improvement of existing data-collection systems and targeted research will be used to improve understanding of the topic. Three working groups, supported by the EMCDDA, will produce a roadmap in 2011 comprising short, medium and long-term monitoring objectives for the three areas.
In the area of drug markets, future activities will focus, among others, on improving drug price and purity data sets and exploring the potential of forensic science. The development of a European standard monitoring instrument on drug law offences and of indicators on intra- European drug production will be key in the drug-related crime area, together with defining priorities for research. Policing and criminal justice agencies will play a central role in drug supply reduction. Work in this under-researched area will begin with a mapping exercise to provide an overview of drug supply reduction activities in Europe. As a first step, the EMCDDA launched in 2011 a survey on the existence and role of specialised law enforcement drug units.