Worcester will benefit from a Government announcement that £148 million will be invested to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs, representing the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
This funding is the latest in support to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) across the UK and West Mercia, including a drive-in recruitment of police officers, and large increases in police budgets.
The £148 million package takes a system-wide approach to the problem of illegal drugs. It gives extra resources to law enforcement to dismantle organised criminal gangs and tackle the supply of drugs. At the same time, it delivers more money for drug treatment and recovery to help cut drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending.
County Lines describes a specific type of criminal exploitation whereby organised crime networks exploit vulnerable young people to sell drugs across county lines to avoid concentrated police operations and building on recent successes in tackling this, the government will double the funding available for law enforcement to take down and bring to justice county lines gangs.
Robin believes that the £40 million of new money reaffirms the government’s commitment to tackle county lines and drugs supply and brings the total invested to £65 million since November 2019. The funding has already seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.
Also, an extra £80 million in new money is being made available to enhance drug treatment, focussing on reducing drug-related crime and stopping the rise in drug related deaths. This new money will increase the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders diverted into tough and effective community sentences. Robin has accompanied local police teams in Worcester on patrols to disrupt county lines activity an has seen first hand the meticulous work that the West Mercia Police have to undertake to combat county lines gangs.
As Worcester’s MP, Robin is pleased that this funding will help cut crime in Worcester and across the West Mercia area and make our streets safer, including cutting drug-fuelled crime and violence.
Speaking after the announcement, Robin said:
“I am always grateful to the officers and staff at West Mercia Police who work hard to keep residents in Worcester safe. The additional funding for West Mercia Police will go a long way to ensuring they have the resources to keep our streets safe. I know from speaking to local police officers and the proactive team that county lines poses a real challenge in places like Worcester and I am sure they will be able to use these resources effectively to ensure that we reduce damaging crime.”
“I am pleased that this funding will help to enhance drug treatment, reduce drug-related crime and stop the rise in drug related deaths, having a positive effect on our community and making Worcester a safer place to be.”