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The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has secured additional funding in partnership with the other regional PCCs to DIVERT drug offenders away from becoming involved in more serious offences, across West Mercia.

This funding seized regionally as proceeds of crime, will fund the charity Cranstoun to deliver the DIVERT™ project. Launching on August 1st, it will offer early intervention for to those found in possession of small amounts of drugs.

87% of those engaged did not re-offend within six months when the project was delivered in the West Midlands. By engaging with substance misuse intervention sessions at the earliest opportunity, low level offenders get tailored advice and support, steering them away from a further criminal record and other issues such as unemployment, and towards better outcomes in life. The sessions are delivered virtually, encouraging more engagement across some of the vast rural communities in West Mercia.

Commissioner John Campion said: “Early interventions can make such a difference to individuals, to communities and to potential future victims of crime. By diverting drug users to support and health services, we make a real culture change approach that ensures the best outcomes for everyone. Along with other PCCs in the region, I’m pleased to help drive this project and ensure that money that has been used in criminal activity can be used for such a worthwhile project.”

Arron Owen, Cranstoun’s National Lead for Criminal Justice said “Cranstoun is delighted to be working with the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to expand DIVERT™ and deliver the scheme across the region. This builds on the excellent work we have done across the West Midlands.

“By diverting people from drug-related offences to a specialist support programme, we can engage with individuals who may never seek treatment. In doing so, we can work with them to address their use of drugs, reduce harm and break the cycle of drug-related crime.”

DIVERT™

This scheme aims to contribute to a culture change in policing and to work with partners and divert emerging offenders from court into the most appropriate intervention to reduce reoffending.

Offenders of any age above 13 found in simple possession of any controlled drug will be eligible for DIVERT™ which is a Community Resolution, an alternative to criminal justice options. This will apply every time they are found in simple possession providing they comply with the requirement to attend the intervention.

Issued on: 21st July 2021