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K04 Kent Youth Drug Intervention Scheme / Medway Drug Intervention and Support Programme

1. Security protective marking

1.1. Not protectively marked.

2. Summary of changes

2.1.  The following changes were made to this policy on 13 March 2013:

  • References to crime recording disposal codes amended as at paragraphs 6.7., 6.8. and 8.3.;
  • Para 6.2. now reflects the SSPC will receive recommendations for referral onto DISP/KYDIS from the officer dealing with the initial incident.

    2.2.  This policy is due for review in March 2015.

3. Application

3.1. This policy applies to officers and staff within Kent Police:

      • Safer School Partnership Co-ordinators;
      • Drug Liaison Officers;
      • Neighbourhood Officers;
      • Response Officers;
      • Custody Staff.

 4. Purpose

4.1. The Kent Youth Drug Intervention Scheme (KYDIS) and Medway Drug Intervention Support Programme (DISP) are inter-agency approaches to tackling the problem of drugs amongst young people under the age of 18 years. DISP in Medway is well established. The new KYDIS model in Kent is designed as a one to one intervention between the service provider and the young person. The service will provide support, education on illegal drugs and the law, prevention of drug misuse and harm minimisation amongst young people, in order to reduce the likelihood of them adopting a criminal lifestyle.  

5. Kent Youth Drug Intervention Scheme / Drug Intervention Support Programme

5.1. KYDIS / DISP are aimed at young people under the age of 18 years found in possession of Class B or C drugs only. They will be referred using form 3197d, which can be found on Word. KYDIS/DISP will have criteria which will need to be met, and is a voluntary option for the young person. Failure to meet the criteria or a referral refused by the young person will result in them being dealt with by way of Restorative Practice (policy K35 - subject to its own criteria) or Reprimand/Final Warning.

5.2.  When a young person agrees to a referral, an agreement is confirmed by the young person, the parent/guardian/appropriate adult and the person making the referral (see form 3197d). The Safer School Partnership Coordinators (SSPCs) will retain this agreement, but copies will be made available to parents/guardians if requested.

6. Method of referral

6.1.  Young people can be referred by any agency in addition to the police, Youth Offender Teams, Probation Service, schools, or by the young person's parents. Additionally they can self refer.


6.2.  Referrals to the schemes will be co-ordinated by the Safer Schools Partnership Co-ordinator (SSPC).  The SSPC will receive recommendations for referral onto DISP/KYDIS from the officer dealing with the inital incident.

6.3. All information will be held securely using existing databases (such as Genesis) and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and ACPO / ACPOS (2020) Information Systems Community Security policy.

6.4. The SSPC will be responsible, on behalf of the police, for recording the exchange of all information and monitoring compliance with this policy, the ACPO (2010) Guidance on the Management of Police Information and Checklist 2 (MoPI Guidance 2010).


6.5.  The commissioned agency will provide a report on the referral outcome.


6.6.  The report will contain details of the young person's attendance, attitude and behaviour whilst participating in the scheme.


6.7.  The decision regarding the final disposal of police cases involving young people referred to the scheme will be made solely by the police.  Initial crime recording shall be in accordance with force policy.  A report from the treatment provider regarding the engagement of an individual following referral (as at 6.6 above) will be considered by the SSPC when a recommendation for a crime report disposal is submitted.


6.8.  The crime submission should include the following:

      • brief circumstances;
      • type and weight of the drug (classifications according to the misuse of Drugs Act 1971);
      • the circumstances of the admission; and 
      • successful completion of the scheme and request that the crime report be endorsed as Undetected, Offender referred to KYDIS/ DISP, disposal code 1.3. 


7. Drug related incidents in school

7.1.  Drug related incidents in school will be managed with a joint initiative between the education department, schools and the police. This initiative is designed to deal with incidents in a standardised manner, using referral to KYDIS / DISP to avoid permanent exclusion from school.

 7.1.1.  The agreed protocol between the Local Education Authority and the police is that the SSPC shall be contacted initially to co-ordinate the response to an incident. If unavailable, the Community Safety Unit supervisor should be contacted to arrange an appropriate response in accordance with this policy.

7.2.  A drug related incident in school is one which occurs on school property or during an organised school activity and is when:

      • drugs are found;
      • drugs are found in a pupil's possession; or
      • a pupil is suspected of supplying, or intending to supply drugs to others.


7.3.  Any other type of drug related incident reported by a school, or an incident reported having occurred other than on school property will be resourced by the Force Control Room, and the SSPC will be advised.


7.4.  When a pupil is suspected of possession of a controlled drug, the school will deal with the incident in accordance with school based policy on the management of incidents in school, policy N134.

 7.4.1.  The SSPC, or attending police officer will:

    • take possession of the substance and make arrangements to field test it if appropriate;
    • search the pupil using powers given by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 if appropriate;
    • secure any evidence relevant to the offence under investigation;
    • ensure that the pupil is cautioned and note the allegation and responses in their pocket notebook;
    • ensure that the provisions of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 are adhered to; and
    • interview the suspect (see paragraph 8.2).


7.4.2.  The SSPC or attending officer(s), in consultation with the school, will determine the appropriate course of action:

    • for possession of Class B or C controlled drug: diversion from permanent exclusion and prosecution by referral to either the KYDIS or DISP scheme. Where not eligible, Restorative Practice approach to be considered (policy K35) prior to consideration of a Reprimand/Final Warning;  or
    • for possession of Class A controlled drug or possession with intent to supply. Presumption in favour of arrest as DISP/KYDIS will not be an appropriate referral. 

8. Action by police

8.1.  Genesis should be checked for any previous reprimands/final warnings/cautions, convictions or KYDIS/DISP warning signs, relating to drugs offences, prior to the young person being offered a place on either programme. Consideration for a place on the scheme can still be given if the offender is known for other minor offences - the ultimate decision of suitability rests with the SSPC.


8.2.  The SSPC/attending officer(s) will then conduct an interview with the pupil in accordance with PACE (this may be at the time in school - subject to the agreement of the Head Teacher and parent (signed entry in the officer's pocket note book), as most schools will state that a drugs incident is an exceptional circumstance. There will be an appropriate adult present.


8.3.  Where the KYDIS/DISP is satisfactorily completed, and in accordance with 6.7. and 6.8. above, the crime report disposal code shall 1.3 - Offender referred to DISP/KYDIS.


8.4.  The young person will be given a Genesis nominal record with Youth Drug Support Programme in the warning signs field; this will have the same gravity as a reprimand. The details of the young person should be passed to the Intelligence Unit on a 5x5x5 for them to raise a record. Included with this information should be the initiating officer's force number and the justification for the warning sign.


8.5.  It is recommended that any young person refusing to go on either the KYDIS or DISP as an alternative to prosecution can be prosecuted for the original offence subject to usual Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) agreements. Any person who already has a marker for KYDIS/DISP should be considered for prosecution if they commit a further drugs offence.


8.6. When an enquiry is received from another force to check previous convictions/ cautions/ reprimands, if there is a KYDIS/DISP warning sign the enquirer should be informed that the policy of Kent Police is to charge the person if they have been on this programme and re-offended.

9. Drug and alcohol related incidents away from school 

9.1.  Incidents away from school relate to any incident where an officer detains or questions a young person in relation to a drug or alcohol matter.


9.2.  The offender will be dealt with in accordance with section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) as amended by section 110 of the Serious and Organised Crime Act 2005 (SOCAP). The exercise of this power requires the officer to apply the necessity criteria set out in PACE Code G to show why the arrest is necessary.

9.3.  Consideration should be given to referral onto the programme if the offender fits the criteria for a reprimand/final warning for possession of class B or C controlled drugs. In many cases another young person with the offender would be suitable for referral onto the DISP programme on a voluntary basis.


9.4.  Persons under the age of 18 cannot be given a cannabis warning.


9.5.  In many situations an arrest may not be necessary and alternatives such as conveying to their home address if they are deemed vulnerable and completing a PACE contemporaneous interview (as 8.2) in the presence of a parent, guardian or appropriate adult before referring to KYDIS/DISP via the SSPC using form 3197.

10. Retention and disposal of records


10.1. Documents mentioned in the above policy will be retained for the period specified in the disposal schedule.

11. Equality impact assessment


11.1. This policy has been assessed with regard to its relevance to race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment the policy has been graded as having a medium potential impact.


11.2. Attached is the latest equality impact assessment that forms part of the policy review process.

Policy reference: K04 Medway Drug Intervention and Support Programme (DISP)
Policy owner: Chief Superintendent, Partnership and Communities
Contact point: Policy Unit
Date last reviewed: 01 March 2013
Document last saved: 15 May 2013