DDN Sept_2022 September 2022 - Page 4

NEWS ROUND-UP

Two thirds believe government ’ s drug policy not working

Two thirds of British adults think the government is doing too little to tackle addiction issues , according to a survey of more than 1,700 people by YouGov . The same proportion also believe that current policy does a bad job of minimising the harm of drugs to those who use them or to society as a whole . ‘ The public are highly critical of the current government ’ s approach ,’ says YouGov .

The figures are even higher among Labour voters , with 76 per cent believing that the government isn ’ t doing enough to tackle addiction issues and 70 per cent that the government is failing to reduce drug-related harm . Among those surveyed overall , 7 per cent reported having had an addiction problem themselves , with 10 and 11 per cent respectively reporting that they ’ d had a friend or family member with a problem . While less than a fifth believed that criminalisation of people who used drugs was the right approach , there was little support for decriminalisation of
most drugs . Although 45 per cent supported the decriminalisation of cannabis and 28 per cent magic mushrooms , just 17 per cent supported decriminalising MDMA and 15 per cent cocaine . The figures for heroin and crack cocaine were 11 and 10 per cent respectively . More than half of respondents , however , backed the introduction of consumption rooms , with just a quarter stating that they were actively opposed .
This reflects the findings of a separate poll of 1,500 people carried out by Redfield and Wilton Strategies on behalf of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform , which found that 49 per cent supported overdose prevention centres . The poll also revealed that more than 60 per cent supported drug checking facilities at festivals and 67 per cent supported naloxone provision , while the most popular outcome for people found in possession of small quantities of drugs was
education or treatment rather than prosecution .
The Redfield and Wilson results ‘ fly in the face of conventional political wisdom – seemingly held by both Labour and Conservative leaderships – that assumes that the public want a simplistic “ tough on drugs ” approach that condemns all those who consume drugs for whatever reason ,’ said Forward Trust CEO Mike Trace . ‘ It ’ s important
‘ It ’ s important for politicians to understand that the public recognises the complexity of the issues at stake , and has moved on from a blanket war on drugs sensibility .’
MIKE TRACE
for politicians to understand that the public recognises the complexity of the issues at stake , and has moved on from a blanket war on drugs sensibility .’
YouGov survey results at yougov . co . uk / topics / health / articlesreports / 2022 / 08 / 11 / what-dobritons-think-current-approachdrugs-and-a ; APPG survey results at www . appgdrugpolicyreform . org / news / drugattitudespolling2022
forwardtrust . org . uk

Gambling firm ' s record £ 17m fine

GAMBLING COMPANY ENTAIN has been ordered to pay £ 17m for ‘ social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures ’, the Gambling Commission has announced .
The fine covers both the company ’ s online and land-based businesses . Entain Group will pay £ 14m for failures at LC International Ltd , its online business which runs Ladbrokes . com , coral . co . uk and foxybingo . com , as well as £ 3m for its Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd business , which operates almost 2,750 physical premises across the UK . The group could also lose its licence , the commission has warned . Among the failings were one shop customer who was able to stake almost £ 30,000 and lose more than £ 11,000 in a single month without being escalated for a safer gambling review , and an online customer who frequently gambled throughout the night and deposited more than £ 230,000 over an 18-month period with just a single chat interaction from the company .
Even those customers who were subject to enquiries and restrictions were allowed to open multiple accounts with the licensee ’ s other brands . A customer who was blocked by Coral was then immediately able to open an account with Ladbrokes , and deposit £ 30,000 in a single day .
‘ This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules
' This is the second time this operator has fallen foul of rules in place to make gambling safer and crime free ... They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully .'
ANDREW RHODES in place to make gambling safer and crime free ,’ said Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes . ‘ They should be aware that we will be monitoring them very carefully and further serious breaches will make the removal of their licence to operate a very real possibility .’
The ruling comes after continuous delays to the government ’ s long-awaited Gambling Review , which was first announced in 2020 and last scheduled for publication in June .
Among the issues covered by the review is sports sponsorship , with the delay meaning that three Premier League clubs – Bournemouth , Everton and Fulham – have been able to announce new shirt sponsorship deals with betting firms in the meantime for the 2022-23 season .
4 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW . DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS . COM