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PCC John Campion has welcome the Government announcement that £80 million of extra funding will be made available for drug treatment as part of a larger funding package to reduce drug related crime.

The £80 million is new money and is being made available to enhance drug treatment, focussing on reducing drug-related crime and stopping the rise in drug related deaths.

PCC John Campion said, “I welcome today’s announcement from Government. Drug offences are one of the few offences to increase during the period of lockdown during 2020, with a 32% increase recorded in West Mercia and 682 offences recorded last quarter alone.

“It is a sad fact that in West Mercia, drug use claims more lives than road traffic collisions, and leaves families devastated. Between 2015 and 2017 there were 187 drug related deaths in West Mercia, which constitutes a 30% increase compared to a decade ago. Furthermore, the cost to communities runs into millions. As commissioner, I have promised to work with partners to address the root causes of drug abuse in our communities.

“My drug strategy emphasises the importance of treatment to improve public health and crime connected to drug use. This approach has been adopted from strong evidence that supports a link between drug treatment and reductions in offending, helping users recover and diverting them away from criminality.

“Funding which will enhance drug treatment, focus on reducing drug-related crime and stop the rise in drug related deaths will have a positive effect on local policing and the communities of West Mercia.”

Published Wednesday 20th January 2021