Drug stabilisation programme saves thousands

PR 46221st September 2005

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of possessions have probably been protected in Three Rivers due to an innovative new Home Office and County Council-led initiative. That is the conclusion of members of the new Hertfordshire Drug Interventions Programme which has received the active support of Three Rivers District Council and the other organisations in the Three Rivers Community Safety Partnership.

In the first quarter of the year, Hertfordshire Drug Interventions Programme engaged with 21 drug misusers in the Three Rivers District. By providing practical support and therapeutic treatment, the team has been helping people to reduce their drug use and offending behaviour. The direct effect of the team's work is a drop in drugs-related crime as individuals are no longer driven to commit crime in order to fund their habit. The team estimates that over an eight week period, the amount of money acquired through criminal activity by one class A drug user to fund their habit could be as high as £56,000.

Vicki Reid, Development Manager of the Drug Interventions Programme, said:

"The programme has been operating across the county since April 2005. Since then, we have developed a fully integrated multi-agency team with over 40 team members from Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Probation Service, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust, Crime Reduction initiatives and Shelter."

Three Rivers District Council portfolio holder for community safety, Councillor Roger Seabourne, said:

"Three Rivers has a very low crime rate and the excellent work of the Drug Interventions Programme has our full backing. By helping people to break their drug misuse habit the team are protecting all of us by stopping one of the causes of crime. Illegal drug use in Three Rivers remains low, but this excellent programme is helping to reduce it even further."

Anyone who has information about illegal drug use should contact the police or Crimestoppers in confidence in order to help keep the whole community safe. Hertfordshire Police can be contacted on 0845 3300 222 or in an emergency by dialling 999. Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.

For further information on the Hertfordshire Drug Interventions Programme, local people can call free on 0800 652 3169.