MPs anticipate drug flaws in new bill

MPs fear that plans to seal crack houses expected to be
published in the antisocial behaviour bill this week could cause
other problems including homelessness.

The anticipated proposals would give the police new powers to
close premises where drugs are sold and used within 48 hours and
seal them for up to six months.

But Ann Widdecombe, of the House of Commons home affairs select
committee, questioned the consequences for people living on council
estates whose homes were often targeted and used by people wanting
to deal drugs.

Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth said: “It is going to be a
problem, but nothing like the existence of these places.” Ainsworth
was giving evidence after Home Office minister John Denham resigned
last week over the Iraq conflict. Home Office junior minister
Hilary Benn is tipped to succeed Denham.

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