Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, has responded to the Government’s ten-year drugs plan to cut crime and save lives.
The Government has announced a record £780 million to rebuild the drug treatment system.
The new campaign against county lines networks is set to address both rehabilitation and clamp down on criminals who carry out half of all shop thefts, robberies and burglaries.
The Commissioner said, “In my view, this is one of the most ambitious plans to finally address some of the major causes of demand on police resources – ever! I’ve said this before, illicit drugs and alcohol addiction are huge problems.
“The prevalence of drugs and alcohol in incidents that require police attention is phenomenal. Be it domestic abuse, serious violence, burglaries, murders etc. drugs and alcohol play a huge part. While it is crucial to enforce against the suppliers of illegal drugs for example, this alone will not work!
“We must be relentless in helping people break their dependence on these substances. The cost of not doing so has been well quantified by Dame Black in her excellent report which is why I greatly welcome this change in narrative and focus by the Government.”
The strategy also sets out a £300 million investment to:
- dismantle more than 2,000 county lines gangs
- put up to £145m into the County Lines Programme to target road and rail networks used by gangs
- carry out 6,400 disruptions against organised criminal activity
The Association of the Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC), will look at opportunities to incentivise the whole policing system to focus on drugs, including the national policing framework, the strategic policing requirement, engagement with Police and Crime Commissioners, the inspection framework, and training and professional practice.
The Commissioner added, “I will continue to work closely with my national PCC colleagues to help to cut drug-related crime, anti-social behaviour and non-crime demands on policing. These are some of the primary concerns of our communities and will help to protect the most vulnerable.
“I will continue to provide the latest information, insights and guidance to partners and ensure that Bedfordshire is a key contributor to national programmes and partnerships.”
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