THE GOVERNMENT’S latest drug report is ‘an admission that for too long it has failed on drug related crime’ – says the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
Ministers announced a £780m 10-year drugs strategy for the drug treatment system in England, which includes £300m for combating more than 2,000 county lines gangs.
Under the plans the government says in some cases casual drug users may lose their driving licences or passports.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “The government’s drug report is, in effect, an admission that for too long it has failed on drug related crime.
“It has starved police forces of the resources needed to tackle organised criminals and it has starved drug treatment programmes of the resources they need to ensure drug users can turn their back on drugs once and for all.”
He added the problem of drug related offending is costing an estimated £1.4billion of taxpayer’s money every year in the region.
Mr Foster said cuts to police forces and youth services have enabled drug gangs to flourish and young people vulnerable to exploitation by organised criminality.
He added: “The government has also starved drug treatment services of much needed funds, meaning fewer people have received the help they need to break their addiction.
“In the West Midlands we have been leading the way with services which help to break the cycle of crime and get people into treatment.
“I commission two leading programmes which are helping to do this. The Arrest Referral Service and DIVERT are both tackling drug related harm, reducing crime and saving the taxpayer money.”