Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, Joy Allen has cautiously welcomed the government’s new ten year drug strategy that was announced on Monday. New funding for vital public health measures has been long overdue as the Government has allowed serious problems to grow over the last few years. Drug-related deaths have risen to record levels every year since2012, while spending on drug treatment has been repeatedly cut.
The Government’s strategy, “From harm to hope: a 10-yeardrugs plan to cut crime and save lives” will allocate £780m in funding for the drug treatment system in England. The strategy includes £300m which will be spent on cracking down on criminals and supply chains to help cut drug related crimes.
Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen said: “Police and Crime Commissioners recognise the public’s high levels of concern about drugs in our communities. I welcome this comprehensive, long-term strategy to tackle a problem that drives so much crime and anti-social behaviour. This is not solely a policing problem which we can arrest our way out of, the strategy recognises that this is about health,education and culture alongside criminal justice. The focus on police diversion for drug-related offenders is welcome, and it is great to see that the Government is keen to build on the work we have spearheaded in Durham, an approach which has been proven to work to reduce reoffending and address the underlying causes behind their offending. A public health-led approach would reduce the stigma and allow more people who need support to be able to seek it. This is the only way the Government will achieve its ambition of identifying and reaching out to a wider cohort of people who use drugs who don’t ordinarily come to the attention of law enforcement in order to reduce the harm to the individuals and to our communities.
“Although I am disappointed that the Government failed to consult widely with key system leaders, academic experts and those with lived experience when formulating this strategy, I stand ready to play my part in ensuring the Government delivers on its promises and in delivering on this strategy locally with key stakeholders.The investment and the strategy will enable us in Durham to amplify our local approach of relentlessly pursuing those organised crime groups who inflict so much harm and misery on our communities while supporting diversion and recovery programmes to help turn around the lives of those who fall victim to drugs.Restricting supply, reducing demand, and promoting recovery to break the cycle of reoffending is what our communities want.”
You can read the government’s ten year strategy at the link below
College bars at Durham University have been praised by PCC for meeting strict standards of safety as part of a national accreditation scheme.
Four outstanding Community Peer Mentor volunteers have been invited to Royal celebration events to mark King Charles III’s Coronation.
PCC has praised the swift roll-out of a free security scheme helping former victims of crime and their neighbours to feel safer in their homes.