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Tuesday, May 12, 1998 Published at 07:00 GMT 08:00 UK


Web closes on porn and drugs crime

Keith Hellawell: warned of heroin epidemic as seizures escalated

The man leading the crusade against Britain's drug problems will address an international conference of police chiefs on Tuesday.

Keith Hellawell, who is known as the drugs czar, will speak to 220 delegates including those from the FBI and Interpol at the European Policing Executive Conference in Aberdeen.

The conference comes just a month after UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator Mr Hellawell warned that Britain was facing a heroin epidemic. Last year Customs officers seized 1.8 tonnes of the drug worth £145m, a 300% increase on the previous year.

Mr Hellawell speech coincides with the launch on Tuesday of a new strategy by the Prison Service to tackle drug abuse in prisons.

He visited Liverpool on Monday for the third of a series of regional conferences around the country to discuss the government's new anti-drugs White Paper with local community workers.

Internet 'biggest threat'

The Chief Constable of Fife Police, John Hamilton, told the conference on Monday that Internet crime will be the biggest single challenge to law enforcement in the new millennium.

Mr Hamilton told delegates that paedophiles and pornographers were using the Net to satisfy their needs, and developing increasingly sophisticated ways of covering their tracks.

He urged the public to play their part in policing the Internet by reporting incidents of pornography, and warned parents not to leave their children unsupervised on E-mail chatlines.

Mr Hamilton explained that policing the information superhighway was a massive problem but, with international co-operation, not an impossible one.

The conference, attended by the FBI and Interpol, is being chaired by the controversial head of Grampian Police, Dr Ian Oliver, in what will be one of his last high-profile roles before he quits the force.

Dr Oliver resigned on April 24, four days after an independent report criticised his force for its actions during the investigation into the death of nine-year-old Scott Simpson at the hands of a convicted paedophile.

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