Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, and the Blackpool Council have welcomed a government minister to Blackpool to find out about the proactive work being done to tackle drugs misuse.
Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, visited on Monday 23rd August and met with Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden, Lancashire Violence Reduction Network head, Det Ch Superintendent Sue Clarke; Judith Mills, Consultant in Public Health at Blackpool Council and Project ADDER team members to hear about the £4.95 million Project ADDER pilot to dismantle supply chains and support people who misuse drugs into recovery.
The minister met with representatives from the Project ADDER police enforcement team to hear about the work being done to break down illegal drugs supply chains in the town.
He spent time with the lived experience team, whose personal experiences help to ensure that people ready to start the path to recovery receive tailored support to enable them to rebuild their lives.
The minister also learned about the treatment and recovery support available from Blackpool Council’s public health team.
Andrew Snowden, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner added:
“As well as saving lives, the programme is specifically designed to cut crime by helping people recover from addiction and breaking the cycle.
“Drugs misuse is not an issue that policing can tackle alone. Having a dedicated team of officers working alongside practitioners from partner agencies enables us to disrupt and dismantle criminal gangs, divert those individuals involved in middle-market drug supply away from criminality, whilst reducing drugs deaths and improving lives of the whole community.”
Det Ch Supt Sue Clarke, head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network thanked the minister for visiting the project and said she was proud to showcase the good work being done. She said:
“It was a real pleasure to showcase the great work being done to tackle drugs misuse in Blackpool.
“What’s different about Project ADDER is that it’s a multi-disciplinary approach where we are working together with people with lived experience who can speak with people who are misusing substances in a more meaningful way and who can help to provide services in a way that’s accessible for people who struggle to get to appointments.
“We are working to tackle the underlying causes of drugs misuse and taking services to the people who need them rather than asking them to come to us.”
Minister for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse said:
“For too long, drugs have caused misery and suffering for many in Blackpool, but through Project ADDER, we are starting to see a ray of hope.
“All parts of the system are working together in Blackpool – whether it’s the police shutting down criminal gangs, or the lived experience team reaching out to those in need, or treatment providers helping to support those misusing drugs to turn their lives around.
“This joined-up approach is the right one and I want to thank the team in Blackpool for everything they are doing to help us confront the scourge of drug misuse and save lives.”
Judith Mills, Consultant in Public Health at Blackpool Council, said: “We are hopeful that this project will make a real impact on people’s dependence on substances and support their journey to recovery. Today’s visit gave us an opportunity to show how the project is working so far and how agencies across Blackpool are working together to make it happen.”
Standing for Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery, Project ADDER sees the police, council and health services working together to address the root causes of drug misuse and break down supply chains.