The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, in conjunction with the Home Office and the Department of Health, has developed a Value for Money (VFM) model for evaluating cost effectiveness in relation to the previous drug strategy. The VFM model approximates the crime prevention and health improvement benefits of treatment and recovery.
This report portrays a detailed explanation of how estimates were calculated for the crime component of the VFM model. It focuses upon the economic/compulsive relationship as a key explanation for drug related crime. This relationship illustrates the ability of drug addicted individuals to develop a tolerance through daily compulsive use, which can result in an expensive addiction. It estimates that drug treatment and recovery systems in England may have prevented approximately 4.9m crimes in 2010-2011, saving society an estimated £960m in costs to the public, businesses, the criminal justice system and the National Health Service.
The report further estimates that approximately 19.6m crimes could be prevented within the Spending Review Period 2010 (2011-12 to 2014-15), thus providing an estimated saving to society of £3.6b. Furthermore, it is estimated that, all else being equal, annual drug related crimes could increase by approximately 9,860 for every £1m taken out of the system, resulting in an overall cost to society of over £1.8m.
Read the report here.