The drugs Act was introduced in the year 2005 to increase the efficacy of DIP by helping a greater number of offenders to obtain treatment for substance abuse disorders. This act has given new powers to the police and courts against drug offenders. These new powers are directed more toward the rehabilitation and treatment of individuals, whose crime is found to be drug related rather than treating them as criminals and punishing them (Drugs Act, 2005).
In the areas which are more prone to crime, DIP is implemented in more intensive manner (Home Office, 2007). In these areas the “Drug Act 2005” has allowed the police to conduct drug related tests and assessment on suspected individuals at the time of arrest. Restriction on bail provisions for drug related arrests have also been implemented in these areas (drugs Act, 2005) The Drugs Act (2005) requires the drug offenders to be tested at the time of arrest rather than the time a charge is put on the person.
Any person who tests positive for type A drugs on drugs test has to be assessed by an assessor (a suitably qualified person). The assessment would help in understanding whether the person is dependent upon these drugs or just has a natural inclination for misusing a particular Class A drug (Drugs Act, 2005). This would help in determining whether the person might benefit from further assistance or treatment (or both). If an individual has been found to commit anti-social behavior under the influence of
drugs, the Drug’s Act (2005) requires that civil orders, directing the individual to attend drug counselling to be issued along with an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order). Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) are orders passed by the court, usually for young individuals (<18 years of age) who indulge in anti-social behaviour, prohibiting them from certain anti-social activities (Drug’s Act 2005). Numerous Aggravating factors, i. e. those factors that increase the seriousness of the offence have been listed under the Drug’s Act (2005).
Some of these factors include: the drug related offence being committed by an offender more than 18 years of age, drug related offence being committed at or near the vicinity of school premises etc. These aggravating factors are to be taken into account by the court before declaring its verdict. This act also empowers the court to send an accused person (suspected of drug related offence) back into police custody for further period of 192 hours, before undergoing trial, especially if they have swallowed drugs in secure packages.
This prolonged time in custody would help the police in recovering the evidence before the court trial starts (drugs Act, 2005). This law empowers the court to presume that the drugs retrieved from an offender had been possessed with the intention to supply them; if it is proved that the accused person possessed a controlled drug in a quantity, which exceeded that of the prescribed amount.
Under normal circumstances, an intimate body search, an x-ray or ultrasound examination for drug offence cannot be carried out unless the accused individual has given his consent in writing. However in the cases where the offender refuses for an intimate body search, x-ray or ultrasound scan, without giving a good reason for his refusal this act gives powers to the court to draw negative conclusions. This act has also given powers to the police to close down the premises which it thinks function as ‘Crack houses’ (Drug’s Act, 2005)