Widespread community health concerns and a need to prevent the UK from becoming an international smuggling hub have driven the work that will see Khat being classified as a Class C drug from June 24 this year.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Policing efforts will focus on those individuals who choose to import, export or supply khat after the Ban is implemented.
National Police Lead Chief Constable Andy Bliss is currently working with The United Kingdom Border Force and The Home Office to ensure all businesses currently involved in the importation of khat are fully aware of the potential sanctions if they continue to import, export or supply khat on or after the 24th June 2014.
In relation to those using khat after the ban, an intervention framework has been put in place in England & Wales which will:
· Assist officers to decide a justifiable and proportionate response to dealing with people found in possession of khat, which can be seen to be ethical and non-discriminatory by the public;
· Outline a three-point escalation approach to policing khat possession offences for adults; and
· Introduce a strategy of enforcement and prosecution that delivers the national message that possession and supply of khat is from the 24th June 2014 illegal.
Chief Constable Andy Bliss said: “The police approach is based on a policy of proportionate escalation. As part of this approach, the Government has introduced a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) as a further option for dealing with khat possession offences. This will be at the lower level fine, unlike the cannabis PND which is at the higher level. This differentiates between cannabis as a Class B drug and khat as a Class C drug.”
The intervention framework is as follows:-
First offence: - No aggravating factors Khat Warning
Second offence: - No aggravating factors Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) £60
Third offence: - Potential Arrest and Criminal Conviction
(The ban also applies to Scotland & Northern Ireland however their intervention frameworks will differ from those in England & Wales)
Fact sheets and further information are available from The Home Office web site GOV.UK.