Extra funding to help deter drug offenders from more serious crimes

West Mercia's police and crime commissioner has secured additional funding to help deter drug offenders away from becoming involved in more serious offences.

John Campion
John Campion

The funding - seized regionally as proceeds of crime - will fund the charity Cranstoun to deliver the DIVERT™ project.

Launching on August 1, it will offer early intervention for those found in possession of small amounts of drugs.

When the project was delivered in the West Midlands, a total of 87 per cent of those engaged did not re-offend within six months,

By engaging with substance misuse intervention sessions at the earliest opportunity, low level offenders get tailored advice and support, steering them away from a further criminal record and other issues such as unemployment, and towards better outcomes in life.

The sessions are delivered virtually, encouraging more engagement across some of the vast rural communities in West Mercia.

Commissioner John Campion said: “Early interventions can make such a difference to individuals, to communities and to potential future victims of crime.

"By diverting drug users to support and health services, we make a real culture change approach that ensures the best outcomes for everyone.

"Along with other PCCs in the region, I’m pleased to help drive this project and ensure that money that has been used in criminal activity can be used for such a worthwhile project.”

Arron Owen, Cranstoun’s national lead for criminal justice, said: “Cranstoun is delighted to be working with the West Mercia PCC to expand DIVERT™ and deliver the scheme across the region.

"This builds on the excellent work we have done across the West Midlands.

“By diverting people from drug-related offences to a specialist support programme, we can engage with individuals who may never seek treatment.

"In doing so, we can work with them to address their use of drugs, reduce harm and break the cycle of drug-related crime.”

The funding has been secured in partnership with the other regional PCCs.

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