11 August 2009

Junk economics

It's a bit of a puzzle. I have no wish to rain on the SCDEA's parade but is its splendid record last year entirely due to its own efforts? The Scotsman reports:
A RECORD amount of class-A drugs like heroin and cocaine were seized by the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) last year – the largest amount since the organisation was formed.
The agency's eighth annual report revealed that nearly two tonnes of illegal drugs were recovered, more than half of which fell into the class-A category.The class-A drugs had a street value of £43.5 million. The SCDEA said the action stopped a minimum of two million street deals.
What we don't know is the extent to which there were more drugs available to be recovered. Obviously, if the importation of drugs is growing, then - other things remaining equal - one might expect more to be recovered. But, for obvious reasons, we do not have statistics on the amounts imported (or produced locally). One possible measure of marlet penetration might be price but again for obvious reasons we do not have reliable stats on the street price of cocaine or heroin. So it remains something of a mystery.

But nevertheless a qualified well done to the boys and girls of the SCDEA.

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