In order to develop effective drug strategies, it is important that forces use performance indicators which monitor the impact of the strategy and ways in which it might be improved. The Police Research Group therefore commissioned research to identify indicators that would provide such information to local managers.

The research was conducted in two phases. The first phase aimed to identify the broad areas where indicators should be sought, and the feasability of developing indicators in these areas. The second phase sought to actively develop and test the suitability of a suite of indicators within a force which is implementing a drug strategy.

This paper reports the findings from the first phase of the research. It examines how the performance of different aspects of forces strategies, such as diversion and enforcement activity, might be measured and the extent to which performance indicators might be constructed from operational data already being collected by the police. An important characteristic of performance indicators is that the data required to provide them should be capable of being collected by forces relatively easily. The report of the second phase of the work, which will present a list of proposed performance indicators, should be available by the end of the year.