The Government has announced that it is to put £148m into cutting crime related to drug use and sale.
The funds are being split across several facets of drug use, including county lines and also drug rehabilitation to prevent further offending and the cycle of being released from prison and immediately going back to drug use.
This new round of funding for tackling county lines mean the Government has now invested £65m since November 2019 – totalling 3,400 people arrested and 770 vulnerable people being safeguarded from people who would mean to do them harm.
£80m is being given to help drug prevention services, including increasing the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders diverted into tough and effective community sentences.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am determined to cut crime and make our streets safer, which is why we are recruiting 20,000 more police officers, toughening sentences and making sure the police and prisons have the powers and tools they need to clamp down on criminals and stop re-offending.
“But it is clear that drugs are a serious driver of the violence which devastates communities and robs young lives. That is why we must take action to cut off supply and cut the head off the snake by tackling the criminal gangs which exploit young people.
“We must also help people to get off drugs in the first place and that is why we are launching Project Adder, a new, targeted approach which will ramp up local enforcement, while at the same time diverting more people into recovery, backed up by the largest investment in treatment in 15 years.”
A further £28 million will be invested into piloting Project ADDER – a new intensive approach to tackling drug misuse, which combines targeted and tougher policing with enhanced treatment and recovery services.
Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) will bring together partners including the police, local councils and health services, and run for 3 financial years in 5 areas with some of the highest rates of drug misuse: Blackpool, Hastings, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Swansea Bay.