The Modernising Drug Law Enforcement project aims to offer theoretical material and examples of new approaches to drug law enforcement, in order to inform the debate amongst law enforcement leaders on future strategies.

This summary is based on six briefing papers that were published in 2013 as part of the project. These briefing papers offer an analysis of the policies and practices in drug law enforcement that have so far been implemented to tackle drug production, demand, trafficking and criminality – highlighting the benefits and drawbacks that such strategies have had around the world. These briefings offer evidence of the ineffectiveness of the traditional “war on drugs” approach to reduce the supply or demand for drugs in consumer markets, and provide policy guidance and examples of best practice on new drug law strategies.

The briefing series focuses on the following key themes:

  1. The role of the police to support harm reduction policies and practices towards people who use drugs
  2. Examples of focused deterrence and selective targeting strategies to combat drug trafficking and organised crime
  3. The application of harm reduction principles to the policing of retail drug markets 
  4. The practical policing implications of regulated cannabis markets
  5. Best practices in the area of financial investigation strategies and drug law enforcement
  6. The role of foreign aid in drug law enforcement strategies.

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