Illicit drug analysis as a tool to combat global organised crime

Global drug crime involving the illicit production of synthetic drugs and the emergence of new legal highs has a detrimental effect on our society and its citizens at all levels. In order to address this global problem, research was conducted that resulted in three significant impacts over the assessment period.

These were:

  1. New capability for law enforcement agencies by provision of new tools to identify specific manufacturing routes of illicit drugs and link this back to criminal intelligence data,
  2. Improvement in the accuracy and reliability of identification of legal highs for use by legal practitioners, and
  3. The influencing of policy and protocol for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on addressing legal high drug identification.

The research has underpinned the implementation of new analytical methodologies now routinely used in Malaysia and in over 900 drug sample identification cases in Scotland alone across the assessment period.

First published: 17 December 2013