Key partners in Knowsley – including the Council and Merseyside Police – have secured £1.52m from central government to help tackle drug related crime and deaths.
Over the next two years, key elements of the funding will provide additional resources to Knowsley’s local policing team to dismantle organised criminal gangs and tackle the supply of drugs. At the same time, the funding will provide resources to employ specialist staff to support drug users into drug treatment to help reduce drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending.
The money will be used by a range of partners including Knowsley Council, Merseyside Police, the Substance Misuse Service, The National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company, and the Youth Offending Service.
The funding will be used to address 3 priority areas:
The funding will reinforce Merseyside Police’s ability to disrupt and target drug supply and the associated offensives that this leads to.
Funding will be given to the criminal justice system to divert people who use drugs away from offending and into health interventions, through programmes such as Drug Testing on Arrest and Out of Court Disposals, which will provide offenders with the opportunity to attend a rehabilitation course.
- TREATMENT & RECOVERY
The money will also allow for a comprehensive expansion of Knowsley’s drug outreach, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support services in each of the areas. This will include the recruitment of a Dual Diagnosis Nurse who will provide support to individuals with co-existing mental health and substance misuse issues.
Councillor Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said:
“Knowsley’s Community Safety Partnership is committed to building better and safer communities and tackling, head on, the issues that impact and affect the health and wellbeing of our residents.
“This latest funding opportunity allows us to further support this priority area and continue our invaluable work with partners to reduce crime, provide effective treatment pathways and protect communities from the scourge of the illegal drug trade.”
Detective Superintendent Lisa Mahon added: “Drugs cause a significant impact on our communities and emergency services. It is therefore vital that we do everything we can to take them off our streets, arresting those involved in the drugs distribution chain and provide help to drug users and those at risk of exploitation.
“As a force and by working with the government and local partners, we want to protect all those coming in and out of our county. I am delighted that the Project Adder scheme will be expanded and I am looking forward to seeing the positive changes this will have here in Merseyside.
“Drugs bring increased levels of crime and can often lead to more serious violence. Project Adder will enhance our ongoing activity and initiatives to tackle drug crime as well as offering users and vulnerable people a safe space to get treatment, which I hope will ultimately deter the cycle of misuse and reoffending.”
T/Superintendent Phil Mullally, Knowsley Local Policing Team, said: “We understand the power of partnership and it is only by working holistically with our partners that we can tackle issues such as drug crime.
“Through collaboration and integration with local community services, rehabilitation providers and other local partners we can reduce drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending.”
MORE ABOUT THE FUNDING
The work in Knowsley has received ‘Project ADDER Accelerators’ funding.
In January 2021, the Prime Minister announced a £148m funding package for reducing crime. This also included the announcement of £28m for Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery), a joint Home Office, Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England programme, which is testing an intensive whole-system approach led by local police and drug treatment and recovery services to tackling drug misuse and drug-related crime.
The £148m drug crime funding package included a £20m uplift for tackling drug supply and an additional £80 million to fund drug treatment in 2021/22 – the biggest uplift in drug treatment funding for 15 years.
£15.1m of this additional funding has been allocated for the expansion of the Project ADDER model to eight additional sites in six areas across England for one year starting in April 2021. These additional sites, which are called Project ADDER Accelerators, build on the ADDER model by providing more investment to participating areas and more focused support from across Government for those leaving prison, people experiencing homelessness and recovery support around employment.