£4.8m funding to tackle scourge of drugs in Norwich

Wraps containing Class A drugs seized during Operation Gravity. Picture: Norfolk Police

Wraps containing Class A drugs seized during Operation Gravity. Picture: Norfolk Police - Credit: Archant

A £4.8m cash boost to help fight the scourge of class A drugs in the city will also help to provide better treatment for those in the grip of this evil.

That is the view of police and council chiefs in Norfolk after Norwich was picked as one of five areas to be part of a pilot project  combining targeted and tougher policing with better treatment and recovery services. 

The government says that money will allow Norfolk police to target local gang leaders driving the drugs trade, while better helping people to recover from addictions.

Norfolk police raiding a property in Heathgate, Norwich as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: Archa

Norfolk police raiding a property in Heathgate, Norwich as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

The £4.8m for Norwich is part of a £28m package the government is investing into piloting Project ADDER.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said that one in four crimes dealt with by Norfolk Constabulary relates to domestic or sexual vi...

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said that one in four crimes dealt with by Norfolk Constabulary relates to domestic or sexual violence. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Simon Bailey, Norfolk's chief constable, said: “In order to tackle County Lines effectively we know we cannot focus on those supplying Class A drugs alone – we also need to focus on rehabilitation and support for those vulnerable drug users who drive the demand.

"Project ADDER will complement our tactics by taking on a multi-agency, whole system approach, where we will be able to identify those vulnerable to drug misuse across all ages and divert them into recovery and treatment. Together we can provide the support needed to enable drug users to build resilience, freedom from drugs and the criminality associated with it.”

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk police and crime commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said: “We are committed to doing all possible to tackle these crimes, both bringing criminals to justice and, at the same time, supporting the victims who deserve and need help to turn their lives around and escape from the misery that drugs cause."

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Standing for Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery, Project Adder will bring together partners including the police, local councils and health services, and run for three financial years.

Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for Public Health and Prevention, said: “The project recognises that Public Health and the Police have to work together in response to drug use.

"I am very pleased that it will give a whole system approach to cutting the supply of drugs and helping those who use them to recover and get out of the downward spiral drug addiction causes.”

Of the £4.8 million in funding over the three years to 2023, £3.4 million will be allocated to Public Health Norfolk for diversion, treatment and recovery activity, while £1.4 million will be allocated to Norfolk Police for enforcement.





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