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Dorset – moving from ‘Harm to Hope’

Today the Government has announced that Dorset will receive significant funding under the Harm to Hope Drugs Strategy. The strategy is the governments, 10-year plan to cut crime and save lives by reducing the supply and demand for drugs and delivering a high-quality treatment and recovery system.

This year, Dorset will receive a total of over £1.4 million, which will enable local authorities to recruit more staff to work with people with drug and alcohol problems and there will be more support for prison leavers to get access to treatment and recovery services, as well investment into the quality of treatment provided - all this work will in turn make streets safer by getting people out of the addictions which are known to drive offending and will ultimately reduce the extensive and harmful criminality that illegal drug use brings to communities of Dorset. More people will also benefit from residential rehabilitation or inpatient detoxification, while improvements to the recovery services will sustain them outside of treatment - helping to reduce both relapse and potentially re-offending rates.

The government has also indicated that over the next two years, Dorset will receive over £2 million pounds to ensure the continuation of the programme in our county.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “The BCP and Dorset Combating Drugs Partnership, which I chair, has been working hard since last summer to produce both a needs assessment and a delivery plan. This funding will allow the partnership to deliver a world class treatment and recovery system by enhancing existing services and providing additional access to treatment centres – increasing effective opportunities for people to enter treatment throughout the criminal justice service.

But recovery and treatment is only part of the strategy. Dorset Police are working hard to break the supply chain by relentlessly pursing the criminals involved in county lines, through Op Viper and Op Scorpion and it has been recognised that there needs to be a generational shift in the demand for drugs and partners will be tackling that priority on several levels, ensuring that there is more impactful and effective education on substance misuse and addiction.”

“I am very grateful for all the hard work partners have put into securing this funding for Dorset. There is no denying that we have a drug problem here in Dorset. Bournemouth is listed in the Government’s drug strategy as having the ninth highest opioid and crack cocaine use in the country and the partnership came together because we all knew we had to act and act now to secure this funding and make a difference, not only to the lives of those who find themselves addicted, but to those who have to deal with the consequences of addiction.”

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