The policing of drugs is an intriguing, complex, and contentious domain that brings into sharp focus the multifaceted nature of the police role and has farreaching consequences for health, crime, and justice. While research on drugs policing has historically been surprisingly sparse, fragmented, and underdeveloped, the field has recently become a burgeoning area of academic study, influenced by contemporary trends in policing practices, changes in drug policy, and wider social movements. This book makes a much-needed interdisciplinary and international contribution that engages with established and emerging areas of scholarship, advances cutting-edge debates, and sets an agenda for future directions in drugs policing.

Drug Law Enforcement, Policing and Harm Reduction is the first edited collection to devote its attention exclusively to drugs policing. It brings together a range of leading scholars to provide a deep and thorough account of the current state of knowledge. In addition to academic analysis, authors also include serving police officers and policymakers, who have influenced how drugs policing is framed and carried out. Together, the contributors draw on a diverse set of empirical studies and theoretical perspectives, with the thread running throughout the book being the concept of harm reduction policing. With accounts from various countries, localities, and contexts, topics covered include the (in)effectiveness and (un)intended consequences of the ‘war on drugs’, attempts to reform drugs policing, and the role of partnerships and policy networks. The broader theme of inequality lies at the heart of this collection.

An accessible and compelling read, this book will be of interest to academics and students of criminology, public health, and social policy, especially those researching policing, drug policy, and harm reduction. It also offers valuable insights and practical guidance for professionals working in the drugs field.

chapter |12 pages

Drug law enforcement, policing and harm reduction

An introduction
ByMatthew Bacon, Jack Spicer

chapter 1|26 pages

Harm reduction policing

Conceptualisation and implementation
ByMatthew Bacon, Jack Spicer

chapter 2|25 pages

More harm than good

A review of the English language literature on the policing of drug possession
ByCharlie Lloyd

chapter 3|23 pages

Drugs, race, and defunding the police

Daring to dream
ByBenson Egwuonwu, Habib Kadiri, Michael Shiner

chapter 4|24 pages

Symbolic drugs policing

Conceptual development and harm reduction opportunities
ByRoss Coomber, Matthew Bacon, Jack Spicer, Leah Moyle

chapter 5|21 pages

Policing cryptomarkets and the digital war on drugs

ByJames Martin, Ian Warren, Monique Mann

chapter 6|19 pages

Policing drugs in the Caribbean

ByMatthew Louis Bishop, Dylan Kerrigan

chapter 7|23 pages

Policing of drugs in Scotland

Moving beyond the stalemate to redesigning the chess board
ByMaria Fotopoulou, Elizabeth Aston

chapter 8|23 pages

Treading the paths of drug diversion

ByWojciech Spyt, Jason Kew

chapter 9|18 pages

‘Another tool in the toolbox'

An investigation of a drug diversion programme in a Danish police precinct
ByTobias Kammersgaard, Esben Houborg, Thomas Friis Søgaard, Sidsel Schrøder

chapter 10|19 pages

Beyond harm reduction policing

ByKatherine Beckett, Monica Bell, Forrest Stuart

chapter 11|22 pages

Law enforcement and public health partnerships

Opportunities and perils
ByEvan Anderson, Ruth Shefner

chapter 12|19 pages

From opponents to ‘interested' partners?

A case study of police and harm reduction service collaboration 1
ByEsben Houborg, Tobias Kammersgaard, Thomas Friis Søgaard

chapter 13|23 pages

Leading local change

Police and crime commissioners and drug policy
ByMeg Jones, Ben Twomey

chapter |7 pages


From stalemate to progress
ByMatthew Bacon, Jack Spicer