Drugs and crime — a complex relationship


The need to prevent drug-related crime is high on the European policy agenda, as illustrated by the fact that the current EU drug strategy identifies this objective as a key area of action for achieving its aim of ensuring a high level of security for the general public. However, a necessary prerequisite to discussion on the extent of this problem and for considering the impact of interventions is an agreed conceptual framework for describing the problem. This is also recognised in the current EU drugs action plan (2005–08), where the development of a common definition of drug-related crime is an explicit action. In this policy briefing, the different types of offences that might be encompassed under a general heading of drug-related crime are explored.