Researching drug supply and trafficking: Home Office highlights need for academic study

August 21, 2003

At the heart of the Government's updated drug strategy is a commitment to reducing the availability of drugs on the streets and making illegal drugs harder to obtain, tackling the supply of illegal drugs at all levels - from source to street, from international trafficking, to regional drug barons and street dealers. Despite the extensive activity of law enforcement agencies to achieve this aim there is a shortage of detailed research in this area. One of the reasons for the lack of detailed evidence is down to the illicit activity and the elusive context in which the activity takes place.

Although there is considerable information available to staff within HM Customs and Excise, the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad and the Home Office, this information is often sensitive or classified. The lack of disseminated information means that interest is not generated among younger academics who are the potential experts of the future.

Expertise in this area is growing but research into drug supply and trafficking, and its evidence base, is in need of constant development. Edited by members of the Home Office, the aim of this special issue is to take a step forward to expanding the knowledge base in this area, and make it widely accessible to academic researchers.

This special issue includes the following articles:

King Pin? A Case Study of a Middle Market Drug Broker
Geoffrey Pearson and Dick Hobbs

Traffic, Transit & Transaction: A Conceptual Framework for Action against Drug Supply
Nicholas Dorn, Tom Bucke, Chris Goulden

Sizing The Market For Powder Cocaine - Is a New Approach Needed?
Leela Barham, Edward Bramley-Harker, Matthew Hickman, Mike Hough, Paul J. Turnbull

Hiding In Plain Sight: An Exploration of The Activities Of a Drugs Newsgroup
Jacqueline L. Schneider

Full table of contents are available at
Edited by the Home Office

Notes for Editors
The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice is the pre-eminent journal of criminology in Europe, and is edited by Professor David Wilson of UCE in Birmingham and Dr Tony Fowles of the Parole Board.

The Home Office Special Issue, Research Drug Supply and Trafficking will be published in September 2003. Full copies of articles within the issue can be obtained from Verity Warne at Blackwell Publishing.. Email:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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