Fighting the battle against drugs is a priority for PCC

The impact of substance misuse on crime in the county has been highlighted by Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner as his Passmore Priority for September.
Tim Passmore said, “Drug abuse has a significant impact on crime in the county and this is not an issue that the Constabulary can, or should, combat alone.
“There is a lot of great work being carried out across the county; many partners are already working together to raise awareness of the effects of drugs and alcohol misuse and develop local solutions. I fully support this important work and have awarded £194K in the form of a Crime and Disorder Reduction Grant to Public Health for their excellent programme of early assessment and onward referral of offenders who misuse drugs.”
“Drug abuse often leads to other crimes and social decay which in turn makes the county less attractive for inward investment and economic growth. It can be a vicious circle for the individuals involved, their families and the community in which they live. The funding that I have given Public Health will be invested in intervention programmes which will prevent crime.
Tim added, “Prevention is the big issue here. It is estimated that 22,500 crimes are prevented as a result of drug and alcohol users being engaged in treatment services in Suffolk and this level of prevention saves an estimated £20m in costs to other agencies and the wider Suffolk community.”
To support this preventative work, Tim Passmore has also agreed for the Constabulary to widen the Drug Testing on Arrest project, which has been piloted at the Martlesham Police Investigation Centre (PIC) since August 2012; this testing identifies drug-misusing offenders when they are arrested and provides support to divert them away from crime and into treatment.
Tim added, “I fully support this drug testing on arrest initiative, which has proven to work well in Ipswich. Offenders testing positive for drugs are given the choice to opt for treatment and not face court. Once signed up to the treatment programme it is compulsory to attend otherwise the individual goes back into the criminal justice system. I fully support this carrot and stick approach, I want to see people given a second chance but not a third or fourth.”
The additional funding from the PCC will allow the Constabulary to expand the project to the Bury St Edmunds’ Police Investigation Centre which, combined with funding from Public Health, will also fund two drug treatment workers.