Thursday, 27 May 2010

Gibraltar and Campo to coordinate against drugs

(Source: Gibraltar Chronicle / Photo: Bruce's Farm) Drug strategy coordination officials from the Campo Mancomunidad yesterday carried out a fact finding visit to Gibraltar at the invitation of Minister for Social Services Jaime Netto. Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Netto emphasised the importance of such cross-border contacts and noted the areas in common between drug awareness policies on both sides of the frontier. Mr Netto said cross-border cooperation by law enforcement agencies tackling drug trafficking was important, together with educational initiatives in schools that promote greater knowledge of the dangers of drugs>

In Gibraltar the Drugs Education programme begins in Middle Schools for children from the age of nine.

The Campo officials were given a tour of Bruce’s Farm and other services for recovering addicts and met local Drugs Coordinator John Montegriffo.

The Minister said that following discussions, the Campo delegation had commented that Gibraltar’s courts imposed stiffer sentences for drug related offences than in Spain, and noted that there are mechanisms in Spanish law that allows police to intercept the electronic communications by drug traffickers, a recourse which is not so readily available locally.

The Spanish delegation has invited Mr Netto to a return visit to gain first hand knowledge of Mancomunidad drug strategy and awareness services.

Mr Netto said that the Gibraltar Government drugs policy was based on three pillars: “prevention, rehabilitation and enforcement” and that the three items were under constant review against the day to day realities of the problem.

The rehab programme applied locally is known as the 12 steps which has more recently been introduced in the Campo for recovering addicts.

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