This section will attempt to set out the background to this dissertation along with the aims, objectives and some of the main concepts of this subject. It will also show the reasons and justifications for the dissertation alongside demonstrating its significance. This section will construct what will be studied and argue why it is worth doing. By the end of this chapter, the range, area and scope of the dissertation will be demonstrated.
1.1 - Background
Both drugs and crime are terms that go hand in hand, particularly when referring to that of Class 'A' drugs. These drugs are classified as such from a penal standpoint under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as they are seen as the most dangerous, damaging present and addictive substances in society. Although the Class A drug blanket spans across a wide variety of substances, Heroin and Freebase cocaine (crack) are the most problematic Class A substances in terms of numbers of users and the behaviours of its users, in the UK. These particular substances are amongst the most the most costly drugs to society as offences have been estimated to cost the criminal justice system as much as £1.2 billion, however the social costs of Class A drugs have been estimated to be that of around the £12 billion mark (Godfrey et al., 2002). Over the years we have witnessed a significant increase in the use of Class A Narcotics. As a result we have seen an increase of drug abuse, addiction and dependency. Addiction is something that is the driving factor when we look at these drugs and their relationship with criminal activities. The highly addictive nature of substances such as heroin is something that takes over people's lives, and is something that can be seen to just as much a medical issue as it is that of a judicial problem. This is because these are drugs that are something that are rarely used recreationally. Addiction to these substances is within the nature of the drug meaning that both psychological and physiological dependence to these substances is common place. Therefore it is easy to see that addiction to these substances somewhat resembles that of disease. Alongside this it is a disease that not only affects the user physically and psychologically, but also affects the wider community socially, economically and emotionally.
1.2 - Chapter outline
Get your grade
or your money back
using our Essay Writing Service!
Chapter two will consist of a methodology, which will outline why secondary data will be undertaken. As this dissertation does not include human participants, it is preferable not to carry out any primary research. Nonetheless, a wide range of books, journals, websites, and articles will be used as secondary data. This will help to give a clear and concise understanding to this subject area with sources to support the question that is to be answered.
Following on from the methodology will be the third chapter of a literature review. This chapter will bring together different theories of crime, drug use and addiction to create an argument and compare views on the criminality of drug users. In this section classical thinkers and their respective theories will be consulted and compared, although these theories will often not address the issue of drugs and crime as a whole field these theories will establish theories separately. This is because the issues of drug related criminality was not a prime area of interest at the time if such thinkers, although theories of such are highly influential and can be applied to variable extents to that of the relatively modern issue of drug fuelled criminality. It will also identify previous contemporary studies to support the chosen topic.
The leading aim for this dissertation will stem from three research objectives (RO). Each research objective will be addressed throughout chapters four, five, six, and seven of the dissertation.
RO1: What Class A drugs are associated with the criminality of the user?
RO2: What types of crime are committed by drug users?
RO3: Is rehabilitation of offenders the best policy to take for social and individual change?
The aim of 'RO1' is to highlight the drugs that prove to be most influential on the user's levels of criminality. I will focus on the identification and history of these substances alongside how they are made available to the public. This will be accompanied with how the roads to drug addiction are formed. The purpose of 'RO2' is to explore the types of crime that are linked to the use of the drugs established via 'RO1' and to look at how this can be policed. The intention of 'RO3' is to analyse the best way forward in combatting against the issue of drug addiction, by looking at rehabilitation as a strategy to combat both addiction and its associated levels of criminality. These research objectives will be looked at in detail in chapter four, five and six respectively.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Moving towards the seventh chapter, the conclusion will draw together all the findings from the chosen data, and attempt to highlight how the relationship between the uses of Class A drugs by their users has an effect on their level of criminal involvement. From this the conclusion of this piece will offer an outcome for the proposed question of 'What is the relationship between the use of Class A drugs by users and levels of criminality?' Following this, scope for further research into this area will be addressed, looking at the other theories, views and policies that may be implemented to further extend the knowledge base of this topic.
2.0 - Methodology
This dissertation aims to find out to the extent that Class A drug addiction of the drugs heroin and crack or freebase cocaine has on the users rate of criminality. In order to complete this research, secondary data as a means of evidence, has been chosen to support the hypothesis and research objectives.
The reason for using secondary data is because of the elusive and dangerous nature of this topic area. Moreover looking into Class A drug use is a difficult topic to cover therefore using secondary data will allow me to overcome some limitations to the research and will enable access to data that would not normally be accessible, if primary data was to be collected for analysis. For example, it would be difficult to gain access to users of these substances and therefore difficulties in the generation of statistics on crime in relation to these users independently, especially seen as though large institutions such as the police cannot accurately measure the rate of this crime. Although that is not to say that using statistics from that of the leading authorities such as the police force and the home office is not to be taken into consideration. Using previous research that may have had the time, experience and resources needed to provide the answers to the questions raised, will be beneficial to this piece. This is something that will be advantageous to this dissertation, as it is on a smaller timescale and of a smaller size that many other studies already conducted in this area.
Secondary data will enable me to explore the literature in order to create a discussion for the dissertation. It will allow me to analyse larger, higher quality of research and this is something which would be impractical for me to do independently. The reason of this is, as the link between Class A drug user and criminality of the user is not so clearly defined, with many different perspectives on this matter , it would be difficult to get a clear representation of the views of society and the users themselves (particularly that of the users) towards the perceived drug user-crime link. Secondary data will allow me to explore previous work, from experts in this particular field, something which will also benefit the findings of this dissertation. Since secondary data is now available in more forms; libraries, journals, online journals, and online sources given by institutions such as the home office, it offers more convenience and a standardised use of methods from all different sources, in which there will be little or no anomalous data to be processed. Also, as secondary data already is already present it will save time to collate the data. This is somewhat of an advantage, due to the short timescale for this dissertation.
Although secondary data may save time, previous research could bring limitations to this dissertation, as it may not be as specific to my research needs as would be ideal, especially when it comes to providing the latest and up to date policies, statistics and treatments. Though a lot of data may be available, on this area the data may be 'out of date' and not entirely 'up to speed' with the current reality of Class A drug use. This is a factor that may be a problem in the validity of the findings and call for the reliability of the points made in this piece to be questioned, as views may have changed over recent years. This dissertation will aim to avoid out of date research to ensure that the findings are valid. However it is worth noting that this will not be avoidable when reference to classical thinkers is made.
This Essay is
a Student's Work
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.Examples of our work
In order to gain access to the secondary data, I will use a wide range of books, journals, online journals, published reports, official statistics, and newspaper articles where applicable. I have chosen to use these resources, as they will offer me reliable and concise data, which will be both a hybrid of both quantitative and qualitative data types. After all the data is collected, I will analyse the data, by comparing, contrasting and combining different research to come up with answers to best fit the dissertation title.
3.0 - Introduction As stated in the previous chapter, secondary data will be used to address the dissertation title. Since the purpose of this dissertation is to examine the key factors that indicate how the use of Class A drugs has an impact on the level of criminality of users, this chapter will critically analyse the significance of Class A drug use and addiction and the role in which it plays in criminal behaviour.
This section will investigate the literature in relation to the current debates regarding the links between drug addiction to substances such as heroin and crack cocaine and its relationship with criminal activities. This literature review will identify different theoretical viewpoints from a selection of available documents, which will contain information, ideas, data and evidence written from opposing standpoints, to express certain views on the nature of class A drug use and criminality and how it is to be investigated. The evaluation of this will help to formulate the main research objectives for this dissertation.
3.1 - Theories of crime
Crime in society has been a social and judicial issue for many hundreds of years, along the way there have always been academics and scholars present to offer their opinions, theories and ideas on crime and that of the 'criminal'. Edwin Schur (1969, p.10) notes 'once we recognise crime is identified by the criminal law and is therefore variable in content, we see quite clearly that no explanation of crime that limits itself to the motivational and behaviour of individuals can ever be a complete one'. Put simply, Schur acknowledges that criminal law is the defining factor of what is criminality and classified as that of 'crime', rather than that of our own moral compass. That is not to say however that these laws were not put forth, by with common sense of morality and ethics.
Durkheim's theories focus on punishment as a reaction to society's collective beliefs about what is appropriate behaviour. Â Durkheim developed the concept of "collective conscience", or the idea of the shared beliefs and attitudes of a society. Â He theorised that the public provides an aspect of legitimacy towards the criminal justice system, for this system reflects society's collective agreement on the concept of morality and the "done thing". This therefore allows the "collective conscience" of the public majority to act as a vehicle for justice and indeed that of punishment for acts defined as criminal. In Durkheim's philosophy, punishment is directed more at the public, whose values have been violated, rather than at the individual offender.Â While Durkheim's perspective on law centres on public consensus, Karl Marx's conflict theory argues that law and punishment for breaking such laws are products of the conflict between competing groups with different interests. Â In this theory, the elite class is in conflict with the lower class and from this punishment is used as a strategy for controlling the lower classes. The level of control administered in terms of what is defined as criminal, by that of the elite class or Bourgeoisie is merely an expression of this dominant class' power over that of the working class. As the elite class hold the power in which to provide laws in which to sanction certain acts or behaviours as criminal, which is something that does not always follow the consensus of the general population (Newburn, T. 2007).
However the theories that holds most weight in the drugs- crime link is that of sociological thinking. Robert Merton's Anomie/strain theory states how deviant behaviour is from the nature of our competitive and materialistic society that is advertised to all as achievable. Nevertheless Merton states that this is only obtainable by a small number of people within society, therefore of the many that do not proceed in to this attainment socially and financially then formulate plans for deviant behaviour to compensate for their failure. This therefore leads to those not following in the materialistic goals of society to be somewhat of retreatavists. Of which "In this category fall some of the adaptive activities of psychotics, autists, pariahs, outcasts, vagrants, vagabonds, tramps, chronic drunkards, and drug addicts" (Merton, 1957, p. 153). Although this classical theory is widely looked to by many criminological academics, it does not a theory that is aimed at that of drug addiction. Conversely conflict theory is a perspective that is almost exclusive in its approach to that of drug addiction, specifically looking at that of heroin and crack cocaine use. This theory states that addictions to these substances is closely related to social class, income, power and location
The relationship between drugs and crime is something that goes hand in hand in contemporary society, as the illegal classifications of A, B and C highlights the severity of the action of involvement with such substance. It is no coincidence that Class A drugs carry a higher judicial penalty for its possession, sale or use than that of class C drugs. This is because class A drugs are the most dangerous to both the individual and also to society. Under the Misuse of drugs act 1971 heroin is classified as a Class A, schedule two controlled substance and is punishable by a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment plus and unlimited fine for possession of the substance intended for personal use. However, possession of heroin with the intent to supply carries a punishment of up to life imprisonment, an unlimited fine and seizure of all drug related assets. This makes class A drug crime big business in the attainment and supply of heroin which has a street price of between £50-£100 per gram, this variation in the price on the street reveals the financial situations of the users, quality of the drug, the amount of the substance that is available and most crucially the level of interaction and activity of the local police authority. Crime is therefore one of the consequent problems of drug abuse because of the illegality of use and possession.
Moreover the use of such illicit substances is linked to crime on a wider scale, not just in the semse of the illegality of the use and possession of these substances. As 32% of arrestees report to having used heroin in the past year, compared to just 1% of the general population being that of heroin users (Holloway and Bennett, 2004), this is a theme that is echoed by Ramsay (2003). As he notes 73% of prison inmates report to having used an illicit substance in the prior year to imprisonment, more notably Ramsey discovered of these drug using inmates almost half of these reported to have used heroin and/or crack cocaine in the same timescale. The NEW -ADAM survey produced very similar findings in their drug testing survey in which they found that again almost two thirds of arrestees testing positive for illicit substances, a quarter of which tested positive for opiates (Bennett,.et al 2001). This suggests that there is a direct link between drug use, particularly between the use of heroin and crack cocaine and the of criminality of the user.
What needs to be established is whether it is drug use that is causing crime, or crime that is creating drug use? Both are true to an extent when heroin and crack cocaine are concerned. In the viewpoint of drug use causing criminal activity, Goldstein's idea of 'economic necessity' of these substances is a major driving factor. As users are often able to control their level of drug use and are also unable to fund their addiction through employment, they often turn to crime in order to fund their drug use (Newburn, T., 2007. p.485).
Foster (2000) puts forth the point of social exclusion and how both social issues and economic factors outline the lives of those who are 'socially excluded' and how lives of this group are associated with that of criminal activity, presenting evidence that the criminal behaviours of drug users shares a strong relationship with that of exclusion. Furthermore Keene (2001) adds that to socially include these individuals could diminish their levels of criminality. For factors such as social aid, help with housing and employment, alongside a strong and supportive social environment of family and peers, would contribute to the reduction of crimes of these users and may in many cases eradiate their criminal behaviour.
3.2 - Theories of addiction
There are many theories that are linked to addiction from models following a physiological standpoint, a psychological standpoint, a sociological standpoint and even combined physiological and psycho-social theory of addiction. Although it is worth noting that particularly in the terms of addiction to the highly addictive substances of heroin and crack cocaine, the reasons for entering drug use and the reasons for continued use under addiction are often polar opposites. Of these particular theories there are few crossovers in their points. However, when combined these theoretical views are extremely applicable to our understanding of Class A drug addiction.
From a sociological view there a signiï¬cantly higher proportion of lower- and working-class inner-city residents abuse hard drugs than is true of more afï¬‚uent members of society. More importantly, this is the case because of the impact of a number of key conditions that have their origin in economics and politics. Sociologist Elliott Currie spells out this viewpoint in Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future (1993). Connections have always existed between income, neighbourhood in which the user resides and drug abuse. An explanation can be developed for why some people with certain backgrounds or life experiences, or in certain settings, are attracted to the consumption of illicit substances. Since the early 1970s, economic opportunities for those who are categorised as 'unskilled' and the somewhat uneducated sectors of the society have been shrinking. In 1970, it was still possible for many, perhaps most, families with considerably lower-than-average training, skills, and academic attainment to support their family by working in a position that financially paid enough so their level of income was above that of poverty line. This is something that currently, this is much less likely to be true, as there are fewer families that contain breadwinners who lack training, skills, and a higher level of education can earn enough money to support a family and avoid slipping into poverty. Increasingly, the jobs that are available to the unskilled and the uneducated and are minimum-wage, poverty-level jobs, of course if any work is to be found at all in current job markets. In other words, the bottom third or so of the workforce is becoming increasingly impoverished. One consequence of this is the growing attractiveness of drug dealing in order to 'pay bills', this is a standpoint that should be considered when we look at the rate of illicit drug use. As more people turn to the sales of illicit substances as a way of economic survival, it will inherently provide a higher demand for these substances and therefore will engage more users into the use of drugs.
From a physiological standpoint genetics is something that has significant merit as a theory in which addiction takes place. A predisposition to things such as substance enjoyment, withdrawal characteristics and that of substance tolerance is something that has a wide scope of variation between individual. Therefore it is argued that those with high amounts of these factors are those in which addiction becomes more prevalent (Schuckit, 1984). Moreover a theory of metabolic imbalance is a possible causal factor in addiction to substances such as heroin, as this theory notes that heroin addicts suffer from a metabolic disorder much in the way that diabetics do, with their need for insulin. This makes the user have intense need and cravings for the substance in that this powerful opiate stabilises their metabolic rate, in a way medicating their deficiency. (Dole and Nyswander, 1980). Although this is a theory that has not been proven empirically to have any causal links around that of addiction to such substances it is perhaps just one of many factors into that of addiction in drug users.
From a Psychological standing addiction is classified by that of a mental disorder as theÂ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersÂ (DSM) states that dependence requires three out of a possible 7 criteria to be classified as such at any time in an annual term. These criteria are stated in Table 1.1 (APA, 1994).
DSM IV Diagnostic criteria for substance dependence
A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress is manifested by three or more of the following occurring during the same 12-month period:
Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
Need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect
Markedly diminished effect of continued use of the same amount of the substance
Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance
The same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a long period than was intended
A persistent desired or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use
A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), in use of substance (e.g., chain-smoking), or recovering from its effects
Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use
The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., current cocaine induced depression, or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption)
Table 1.1 highlights the various ways in which, from a psycho-medial model at least how addiction can be defined. This definition shows how addiction is something that is continued regardless of any physical or psychological problems that have been increased as a result of such substances. This is something that can be applied to the drug user's economic standing also as in spite of the knowledge that they lack of finances to pay for the addiction, it is something they undergo anyway by means of criminal, in that of acquisitive crimes.
3.3 - Summary
Research highlights that there are significant issues and theoretical standpoints for both drug addiction and criminality associated with drug use. This dissertation will address different theories, to establish how Class A drugs particularly that of heroin and crack cocaine effect criminality of the user. Furthermore the key factors that has damaging effects on the perceptions of drug use and also ways in which the issue can be overcome.
4.0 - Introduction
The substances that are linked to drug fueled criminality in the UK are often the use and addiction to the Class A substances of heroin and crack cocaine. These two drugs account for the majority of drug driven crime, as they are both highly addictive substances in which the user can and often become addicted in a single use of the substance. Therefore it justifies the classification band in which it is placed as these are amongst the most socially problematic drugs in society. However heroin is often the most common culprit in crime linked drug addition, it is often supplemented with the use of crack cocaine in a way of managing the high experienced whilst under the influence of heroin. It is not uncommon for heroin users to self-medicate themselves on a combination of the two to counter balance the effects of the drugs against each other, to keep a 'clear head' and enable the highest level of functionality whilst under the influence. Often this is said to be to enable them to carry out their daily tasks to acquire their next dose of drugs. People have been using drugs consistently throughout history, much longer than it has been considered a problem both socially and criminally. Tammy Salah suggests that drug use has been prevalent since ancient times (Saah, 2005). However, significant major changes have occurred in the pattern of drug taking in the last four decades. In the 1950s very few people indulged in any form of drug, other than alcohol or cigarettes. However, this situation has gradually evolved as we have converted into somewhat of a drug culture. Whilst not all take drugs, drug use is apparently more socially accepted than ever before.
4.1 - The Drugs used
Heroin use is something that has been on a steady increase since the end of World War II, at which time the Mafia took advantage of the apparent weakness of the Italian government at this time and the geographic location of the territory of Sicily, something that the Italian Mafia had almost complete control over at this time. This is where the set up laboratories for the refinement of the heroin product they had imported from central Asia and Arabic regions and India giving it a prime location for further distribution into mainland Europe and that U.S.A (Schweider, 2008). Since this time distribution of heroin has evolved and there is no single crime group that is thought to be responsible as there has been previously, however it is suggested that the majority of importers of heroin are gangs of a Pakistani heritage with family and community links with the UK. Moreover the majority of this is done through the means of legitimate parcel delivery couriers, meaning that often the links to those connected with the trafficking of the best part of 18-23 annual tones of heroin is notoriously difficult (SOCA, 2013). Addiction to heroin is a profound problem in the contemporary UK as of the 327,466 estimated problem drug users in the UK 281,320 of these problem drug users are that of heroin users (Home Office, 2006). Heroin addiction is something that is riddled with issues in many areas from health to that of crime. Heroin is an illicit substance that is a natural ingredient that is extracted from that of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum); it is cultivated in high quantities in the districts such as South East Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northern India, China, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece and the Lebanon. The properties that this plant contains have been known for thousands of years and the use of opium was known by much of the ancient world for its use in medicine. In which it was often smoked or dissolved into water for drinking, for the use of pain relief (Emmett & Nice, 1996). Heroin as a substance is something that is notoriously something that is linked to that of dependence. Drug dependence as a term refers to behavioral responses or experiences that are inclusive of a compulsion to take the drug in order to experience its physical and psychological effects. Heroin however, due to its highly addictive nature is sometimes used to avoid the distress of the absence of the substance, although this is not reason for its initial use it is something that is common amongst users as a preventative measure against the symptoms of withdrawal from the drug (Rassool, 2009).
Crack cocaine on the other hand does not share a similar lineage of history, as is a relatively new development when compared with that of heroin. Crack or freebase cocaine is something that developed in inner-city areas of the U.S.A in the mid 1980's (Reinarman., et al, 1997). Made from that of regular cocaine, the discovery of the reaction the drug takes when made soluble in water with the additive of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) (Estroff, 2001).This simple transformation of the drug made it something that was up taken by many, as they realised the addictive properties of this now smoking enabled form of cocaine, thus a thriving market for this drug began to develop. As this market progressed and popularised it was then up taken in other countries and had moved into Europe by the late 1980's to early 1990's.
The prevalence and level of these drugs in the public domain is amongst one of the main issues in terms of drug addiction. For the access and availability to these substances is of course a factor into their uptake and continued use. Availability theory which according to Ghodse (1995) is the accessibility of the drug is a condition for the misuse and dependence of drugs, indicating that the greater the prevalence of the substances in a community the greater the use of the drugs. Henningfield,. et al (1991) goes on to add that influences such as social pressure, cost and marketing of drugs alongside substance availability are great indicators of the rate of drug use in a community. This explains why there is a higher concentration of illicit drug use in inner-city areas, for inner city areas are the places where the drug market is most exposed to more buyers.
Paul Goldstein (1995) outlines a theory directly related to that of drug crime specifically in which he states ways in which drugs and crime are related, primarily through that of economical compulsiveness as drug users are motivated to commit crime and engage in criminal behaviour due to their lack of monetary means. Goldstein highlights that high demand drugs such as heroin and cocaine are the most relevant drugs in this classification as they are the most addictive to the user and the most expensive to purchase, resulting in higher crime rates of users of these substances to acquire means of funding their habit. Public opinion of drug using offenders follows Goldstein's theory on this issue as the British crime survey alongside the 'omnibus survey' (Charles, 1998) reflected that the majority of the public put fourth that they thought the main cause of crime in the UK was drug related. Furthermore the Home Office 'research findings pamphlet' (Charles, 1998), displayed how a third of respondents felt that theft for drugs was a very big problem in their local area. This reflects the large public opinion on the 'life of a drug addict', as that of criminality and social exclusion.
It almost certainly comes as no surprise that drug abuse rates are higher in areas where drugs are easily available, which is generally run-down urbanised areas. It is not difficult to consider that unwelcoming personal circumstances can lead people to seek 'escape 'through drugs. Gradually, after taking substances such as heroin and crack cocaine for extended periods, the individual acquires a tolerance to this powerful opiate and therefore results in the need of more of the substance to achieve the same effect as before. This coupled together with a physical dependence on heroin and crack cocaine, means that ever increasing amounts of these drugs must be used than before to fight off the symptoms of withdrawal, particularly in the case of heroin.
5.0 - Introduction
It has been established that there is somewhat of a relationship between drug use and the criminality of the user through the relevant literature of Holloway & Bennett (2004), Foster (2000), Keene (2001) and Goldstein (1995). However it is crimes of acquisition that are amongst the biggest factors of criminality by that of heroin and crack cocaine use. Acquisitive crimes provide the users with the fastest turnaround in terms of gaining money to feed their habits. Chaiken & Chaiken (1990) Walters (1994) and De Li, Periu and MacKensie (2000) highlight this relationship in the view that crime makes drug use possible and drug use provides the reasonable need in which to commit criminal activity. This highlights the view of which there is somewhat of a reciprocal relationship between that of drugs and crime.
5.1 - A crime of acquisition
The secondary crime associated with drug addiction that poses the most problems to society, as it is apparent that drug users need large sums of money to support their addictions. However for many of those in the addiction of drugs such as heroin, it is often difficult for these people to acquire the costs required by legitimate means. From this the frequent choice is to commit crimes, particularly that of property crime to provide for their habit. Chaiken and Chaiken, (1990) explain that a high level drug user is likely to commit between 80-100 serious property offences per year and for female users, prostitution is often a likely path to follow to support their addiction. This is something that is supported by longitudinal studies support the view that high levels of drug use are associated with high levels of crime. Moreover the same is true for low-levels of drug use, in which low levels of crime is associated with it. Something that is particularly true for that of heroin users, as there seems to be a direct correlation between that of the regular dosage of the substance and the criminality of the user in terms of secondary, acquisitive and property crime. A study of heroin users in Merseyside showed how the rates of burglary increase when heroin use increases (Parker et al., 1988). This links together that heroin use and acquisitive crimes go hand in hand as a means to sustain the user's need of addiction. This is a point that is mirrored by Bennett (2000),Coid et al., (2000) and Edmunds, Hough & Turnbull (1999) as they too discuss how that acquisitive crimes of the Class A drug users seem to be the primary method in which users and addicts fund their use of these substances. Edmunds, Hough & Turnbull (1999) go on to explain that the use of substances such as heroin can increase the offending rates significantly of previous offenders due to the higher financial needs they face in order to feed their addiction. Further the work of Stewart et al., (2000) highlights the factor that Users of Heroin and crack cocaine are amongst the most prolific and frequent offenders of acquisition type crimes.
That said however it would be over generalised to state that all Class A drug users are offenders and all offenders are addicts, this is something that becomes increasingly true as we look down the social classes. As Class A drug associated crimes, heighten in the lower social classes such as the underclass.
Amongst drug users themselves, it is not uncommon for them to comment that they only have interest in the commitment of such crimes to purely feed their drug habit and often imply that should they not be on drugs that they would no longer commit crime, something that provides a distinctive correlation between users and crime levels, although anecdotal in nature is a view that is commonly shared throughout the heroin user community. The link between drugs and crime is not so distinguished however, as many studies that promote the drug use turning to crime, to pay for the addiction, many studies do not look at a control group to compare the crime rates and often only use a relatively small sample size. This therefore opens the possibility for other explanations such as psychological, sociological, and economical factors that could contribute to the link between both drugs and crime.
5.2 - Policing the problem
Regardless of the causal links between drugs and crime, it unquestionably causes significant problems for the police service, enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Substances such as heroin, as stated above come with problems of acquisitive crimes of much of its user base. Therefore it is a problem that must be policed from both ends of the spectrum to reduce such statistics. From that of high level organised crime syndicates to that of street level offences caused by the user.
Pre 2005 the way of policing drugs was organised according to the guidelines set in the 1985 Broome report (ACPO, 1985), in which regional, force level, divisional level enforcement of drugs was the route used. Regional crime squads combatted drugs at a national/ international level, whilst force level drugs squads were liable for mid- market drug related crime and activity and officers at divisional level were responsible for that of enforcement on their local streets. However this was seen by many as something that was perhaps a naÃ¯ve way of looking at how drug crime is structured, in that this way of policing is something that offers little crossover and specialisation towards tackling drug related crime in its entirety. Bean (2002, p.124) concurs with this as he notes 'The Broome strategy was based on the belief that drug markets operated according to a model derived from a police officer's view of the structure and importance of policing'. Suggesting the police force was matching high level ranking officers with high level drug suppliers and dealers, something that was greatly changed with the formation of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). This new form of enforcement has the combined powers of the police, customs and immigration. For SOCA their approach focuses primarily on policing those involved with drug crime at the very top of the of the drug world hierarchy, not that of street level crime issues relation to drugs. This is an area the theoretically produces the best return on the money invested by the government, by stopping the arrival of such substances into the UK. As the majority of drugs found here in the UK are derived from natural substances harvested from other areas of the globe.
Although with SOCA the dominant strategy of tackling drug offences from the top down is still something that is aimed at taking out the supply sharing many of the viewpoints that were included in the Broome report. This is something that can be argued to have little effect on the level of drugs entering our streets, as there are many high level dealers and traffickers that evade apprehension. Arresting and prosecuting high level drug offenders does very little in terms of preventing or even slowing the thriving drug market. This is a view mirrored by Webster et al. (2001), as it was found by this study that the although a 'crackdown' on drugs was initiated by that of the metropolitan police there was no lack of availability of Class A drugs. Additionally Kleiman & Smith (1990), note that policing authorities do not seem to notice the times and places that drug offences, mostly that of dealing occur and this is highlighted by that of there are often less police patrols in the night time hour than at other times.
Policing issues that are both directly and secondarily linked with drugs, is something that is a very complex issue as there are many directions in which drugs are to be policed from the cultivation and production of substances such as crack cocaine and heroin, to the dealing of the drugs to that of the end user on local street level. Until policing can prevent all systems from the top down from producing and making the drug an available commodity for sale then these issues are something that will continue on into the future. This is especially difficult with the level of corruption with the authorities involved as money is the controlling factor when it comes to power and the choice of whether to sweep such things 'under the carpet' and informing the drugs underworld of coming threats from inside that of the police service. Although this is not something that is openly admitted to occur by the police, it is something that is not welcomed by the police and they actively seek to remove corruption from their organisation. However, for every officer found to be guilty of corruption, there is most certainly more in place to replace them (Clark, 2001). Although this is something that could be preventative of the issues being reviewed in that of the user's criminality, it is merely one area in which the drug market can be tackled to prevent the social and criminal issues of users. Use of imprisonment as a deterrent for users to dis-continue their life of drugs and criminal behaviour is a notion that often proves popular in the opinion of the majority. Although this is something that is to be questioned, as although imprisonment symbolises the moral turmoil to an individual whom does not follow the norms of society, particularly when such actions are punishable by law it is, not always the best action to take in terms of reforming characters and rehabilitating offenders. Deterrence is something that neither deters nor prevents illicit drug use, as for individuals to be deterred from such actions the risk to reward ratio must be calculated by the user. For many drug users whom live in poor social and economic situations, the reward of drug use is something that perhaps surpasses any lawful impediment that may be present to deter them from this lifestyle.
6.0 - Introduction
It is a point to be argued that although Class A drug addiction is manifested in that of a criminal offence. Although it can be argued that, irrelevant of the substance consumed that addiction is somewhat of a disease and therefore is that of a medical and social issue over that of a judicial problem. This is the case for many users, as they only commit acquisitive crimes and engages in prostitution as a means to fund their addiction. Therefore theoretically if the issue of addiction was removed, there would be less crime. As money spent changing lives of those with addiction would be more beneficial and also more cost effective to the user and society, rather than merely imprisoning problem drug users. However politically this is not such a simple theory, as rehabilitation for users over that of incarceration is riddled with issues on legality of the substances at question and could therefore not act as a deterrent if the only punishment is to put users into rehabilitation over that of a sentence of imprisonment. If this model alone is adopted offences would go un-punished and give individuals little deterrent from involvement with such substances, if a model of pure rehabilitation was to be implemented.
The importance of withdrawal symptoms is a point to note in the criminality of drug users, as the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal, particularly from that of opiates are driving factors in their continued use (Grunberg, 1994). Therefore treatment for heroin use in the form of methadone is a common substitute drug for those whom suffer from heroin addiction. Methadone is a Drug that has increased in is rate of prescription in the UK as there was a doubling of this treatment method over the ten year period of 1995-2005 (Strang et al., 2007). Caplehorn et al., (1993) have noted that the more methadone prescribed to the individual, the less the user would seek to use heroin. Although this is a treatment method that is equally as addictive as that of heroin, therefore it is not uncommon for users to continue to use heroin when their prescribed dose of methadone is reduced. This is a treatment method that can therefore be seen as a 'quick fix' to reduce crime and social harm, even though it does not tackle the problem of addiction, but rather displaces it into a legal constitution.
6.1 - Rehabilitation the best policy?
However this is merely one the first steps into that of recovery for addiction, other measures have been implemented that supports addiction recovery in that of measures of control that have been implemented through that of The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act, CJCS (2000) which gave courts the power to order drug testing, ultimately giving them the power to implement a collection of treatment orders. Such as Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) which requires the offender to undergo treatment for up to three years. Also under section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the 1976 Bail Act was amended to allow a restriction for those whom test positive for drugs and do not agree to assessment and treatment for their addiction, to be refused bail (Home office, 2010). Amendments to this act also provided the police with new powers such as the powers to drug test individuals placed in their detention for crimes classified as 'trigger offences' which include many acquisitive offences such as shop-lifting. Also the failure to provide a drug test sample for these offenders becomes its self a criminal offence that is punishable with that of a significant fine. This is something that has increased users compliance to enter into drug treatment initiatives such as the Criminal Justice Intervention Programme (CJIP), in which both drug and socially based treatments are made available to the user in the way of methadone and a support worker. Test results from such offenders are made available to the courts to assist them in making their decisions on the details of the offenders bail and sentencing conditions.
The Drug strategy (2010) has highlighted that in some cases users may need custodial sentencing, however this is to be implemented alongside that of rehabilitation for their addiction. Further it highlights a demand for more community based sentencing for users in which a drug treatment must be adhered to alongside their community sentence, as this scheme highlights that imprisonment 'may not always be the best place for individuals to overcome their dependence and offending behaviour' (Home office , 2010. p.12). A Drug interventions programme (DIP) is the means in which the 2010 drug strategy has planned to ensure that offenders seek treatment for their addiction at every opportunity, in their contact with the criminal justice system in that drug dependent users are targeted to enter into recovery focused services whether that be in the community or during imprisonment. This is to be done by 'Developing and evaluating options for providing alternative forms of treatment-based accommodation in the community', 'Making liaison and diversion services available in police custody suites and at courts by 2014' and 'Diverting vulnerable young people away from the youth justice system where appropriate' (Home office , 2010. p.12). In addition to these policies that focus on that of community based addiction recovery, the Drug strategy also highlights the importance of services to deal with drug addiction within prisons. Where wing-based and abstinence recovery services are provided, in the aim that users can begin to live their lives 'drug-free' and thus cut down the rate of drug users offending.
On the face of it, the obvious choice for rehabilitation of drug users would be to place them under a probation order or supervision for their drug rehabilitation, with the aim of abstinence from drugs. This is something that seemingly tackles the primary triggering factor in the illicit activities of drug users, particularly in those dependent on crack cocaine and heroin. For as previously stated heroin users are responsible for the majority of criminal activity of all drug users. However this is somewhat of a grey area as there is little lawful pathways in which to follow, and can therefore be implemented at the digression of the courts and indeed that of the police officers (Bean, P. 2002). Therefore a hybrid approach to drug users involved in crime is something that is to be taken into consideration**********
7.0 - Introduction
The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the extent to which criminality and Class A drug use are linked. Therefore, this dissertation has established the role of the Class A drugs of heroin and crack cocaine as these are the main substances linked with criminality by that of the user. Further it has provided evidence in the way of theories, statistics, concepts medical diagnosis and law and legislation to indicate that Class A drug use is a central component of crime. Further still it has established ways in which this societal and judicial problem can be overcome. In this closing chapter will provide a critical evaluation of the dissertation, with regards to the formerly set research objectives. This chapter will also point out any limitations, and how they relate to the overall findings of this research, whilst also analysing the conclusions of this study, providing recommendations for future research and practises.
7.1 - Previously set research objectives
RO1 (Research Objective 1) aimed to investigate what Class A drugs are associated with criminality of the user. It was found from this objective that heroin and crack cocaine are the two most influential drugs in terms of end user criminality. Suggesting that although drug related issues are a relatively new problem within society, there are theoretical bases in which the road to addiction to these substances occurs, particularly in that of heroin use. With reference to the discoveries made in the literature review through authors such a it is apparent that substance abuse is highly popular in the crime community, with a quarter of all positive drugs tests by those being detained testing positive for opiates (Bennett et al., 2001; Holloway and Bennett, 2004; Ramsey, 2001).
RO2 was to investigate what types of crime these drug users are committing. Chiken and Chiken (1990) identified that high level drug users commit between 80- 100 serious property offences each year to acquire goods for sale to support their addiction needs. Further of Stewart et al., (2000) noted that users of heroin and crack cocaine are amongst the most frequent and prolific offenders of acquisitive crimes. This supports the consensus that acquisitive crimes are the most frequent outlets of crime for these types of drug users.
RO3 aimed to investigate if workplace surveillance techniques were used as a social control against employees. It was found that surveillance was used in a negative way, to exploit the labour from the employee, leading to bias behaviour. Marxists theories established how the workforces have a lack of control, automatically distributing control to those in superior positions. Due to employees performance being monitored, enforces employees to behave in a certain manner, which is not the overall purpose for surveillance within the workplace. Emphasis was made on modernity being the drive for control, through the sophistication of electronic surveillance, which also makes control less visible. Regardless of surveillance being used as a control, it is not necessarily described as a social control. Moreover, it has a drive to enforce control that increases capital within a business.
7.2 - Conclusions
Overall, Class A drug addiction is a problem that has a major influence on society. However it is still somewhat unclear as to the causes of addiction to these substances, although the point is clearly made that addiction to heroin and crack cocaine have a significant influence in criminality, specifically when linked to acquisitive crime. As previously stated many offenders in police custody for acquisitive crimes confess to the use of such substances playing a part in their lives and thus their criminal behaviours. Also it can be concluded that acquisitive crimes are something that are very much saturated by users of these particular substances. Although whether the level of intellectual functioning to evade apprehension for such crimes whilst under the influence of such substances could be thought to be a contributing factor in their high rate of representation in custody for acquisitive crimes. Therefore the link between drug use and criminality is something that seems to be causally linked, as there is an overwhelming representation of individuals whom are addicted to heroin and crack cocaine, engaging in acquisitive crimes. That is not to say however that all addicts are embedded in a life of acquisitive crime to provide for their drug use, although that is something that seems to be the trend.
A number of factors are at work in the uptake levels drug use, therefore there are many variables to take into consideration why some people use drugs and become that of 'Drug Addicts'. As there are many ways in which drug abuse can be explained, weather that be down to biological aspects such as genetic predispositions, psychological theories such as positive reinforcement or that of sociological explanations such as anomie theory. That said however there does not seem to be a single theory of drug abuse and addiction that can explain everything about the world of drug use, therefore it is something that needs to be looked at holistically. A holistic view into this would give a more rounded and possibly more accurate account of the processes that lay beneath drug addiction, for it seems that there are many factors that overlap and prove to be influential in the life of a user. In summary, through carrying out this research it has become apparent that there are many issues and complexities with drugs and user crimes, something that will continue to be an on-going issue as there is little means of prevention for future uptake of such activities.
7.3 - Further Research
If further research were to be undertaken, primary research would be consulted in order to establish more in depth view points, in relation to gaining opinions, theories, legislation and perspectives from law enforcement, prosecution services and the users themselves.
If the dissertation were to be continued further, matters such as the progression of treatment for addiction. Specifically looking at the success rates of drugs such as methadone, as it could be said to be a 'quick fix' rather than tackling the underlying problem. Further, looking at the routes in which addiction to these substances occurs in more depth by using the views and opinions of users themselves, specifically looking at the user's relationships with criminal activities to provide for their drug addictions. Moreover the work of David Nutt (2011) provides a great amount of insight into that of addiction being that of a life long illness rather than an active lifestyle choice. He notes that this is down to our brain chemistry and how our brain systems adapt into provoking us to continue behaviours that are, at first at least, highly pleasurable. David Nutt is currently investigating is there is a predisposition that can be observed as to whether there is a genetic predisposition or that of a chemical process change for those suffering from addiction. This is something that will be of great interest in the future as the findings for Nutt's work may hold a more direct causality into that of addiction.