The Association of Police Controlled Drugs Liaison Officers (APCDLO) was formed in 2000 by a small group of officers to improve working relationships with the rest of the police service and their partner agencies to promote best practice at both national and regional level. To help support this aim, the Association set up links with the Association of Chief Police Officers Drugs Committee. The value of these links was acknowledged during the Shipman Inquiry and the Association was involved in a subsequent consultation about taking forward the Inquiry’s recommendations.
From humble beginnings and annual conferences with 30 interested parties the APCDLO has now gained support from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and has grown into a professional body whose conference in 2006 attracted over 250 delegates from across the whole range of industry partners. The conference in 2007 at Cardiff was just as successful attracting around 250 delegates from a wide range of regulatory and healthcare providers.
Until late 2006, the association’s remit has been to inspect retail pharmacy outlets and some hospital pharmacies to ensure that they were complying with the misuse of drugs and safe custody regulations in respect of controlled drugs.
However, with the introduction of the Health Act 2006, which came into force on January 1 2007, there is a greater emphasis on the police being involved in investigation, intelligence and partnership working, particularly through local intelligence networks.
Each of the new local partnerships is led by an accountable officer, who must be a Primary Care Trust (PCT) employee working at a senior (board) level. He/she will be responsible for establishing local intelligence networks and adverse incident panels for their PCT area. These will involve regulatory and inspection partners and the police.
The Intelligence Networks will meet on a regular basis as determined by their terms of reference.