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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 16:54 GMT
Police focus on battling drug use
Crack cocaine
Delegates have been told crack cocaine use has risen
Scotland's senior police officers have been meeting in Ayrshire to discuss how to intensify the war against drugs.

Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) representatives have been joined by figures from the United Nations and other agencies.

The two-day conference is discussing ways to combat the trafficking, supply and misuse of illicit drugs.

Delegates are also examining calls to reassess the way in which funding is allocated to tackle drug misuse.

Last year the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency (SDEA) reported record seizures.

By working closely together, we can tackle the many challenges that lie ahead
Graeme Pearson

There has also been a warning of an increase in the supply of crack cocaine in Scotland.

Graeme Pearson, director of the SDEA, said: "Law enforcement agencies and our partners in health and education, have to look to the future and try to predict how the threat of drugs will change and evolve.

"By sharing knowledge and best practice, and by working closely together, we can tackle the many challenges that lie ahead."

'Everybody's job'

The drugs issue came into sharp focus in January when an 11-year-old girl slumped at her school desk in Glasgow from the effects of heroin abuse.

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson will make a keynote speech at the high profile forum on Friday.

She said: "Too many children's futures are still being blighted by growing up in families affected by drugs.

"There is one essential ingredient if we are going to break the cycle of generational drug problems.

"That is an understanding and commitment that it is everybody's job to tackle drugs."

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