Today (20 January) the Home Secretary and Health Secretary announced that Hastings in East Sussex will be receiving an investment of over £4 million to cut drug crime and promote the rehabilitation of drug users.
The town has been announced as a pilot area for ‘Project ADDER’ (Addiction, Disruption, Diversion, Enforcement, Recovery) a Government initiative to help the police, local authorities, health and other partners work together to reduce drug-related deaths, offending and the prevalence of drug use.
The £4.35m awarded to Hastings will be spent over the next two and a half years and will help to reduce the supply of drugs, increase the number of drug users using treatment and recovery services and reduce drug-related reoffending.
As well as commissioning more services from local groups and organisations, the money will also enable the County Council to employ officers to work with those affected by drug dependency.
By tackling drug supply and use it is hoped that the cost to local health services and the police will reduce and the number of young and vulnerable people safeguarded will increase.
Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne welcomes this funding boost saying: “I’m delighted that Sussex is directly benefitting from this new initiative.
“Investments made into Sussex Police over the last two years have enabled the introduction of the Tactical Enforcement Units to crack down on organised crime and disrupt county lines.
“This new funding will bolster that proactive policing approach but it’s main focus is to increase the drug treatment and recovery services available to addicts in the local area, helping people to break the cycle of addiction and offending, and get their lives back on track.
“My office looks forward to working with all local agencies in the roll out of this project.”
Chief Inspector Sarah Godley, district commander for Hastings and Rother, said: “Tackling drug-related harm is one of our key policing priorities in Hastings, and Project Adder will greatly support the work we already do in this area.
“Although traditionally our focus is on disrupting the supply of drugs into the town and taking enforcement action against those found to be supplying drugs, safeguarding those who are vulnerable and at risk of exploitation from drug dealers is also important to us.
“We welcome the funding being given to Hastings and look forward to working on new and enhanced drug diversion and treatment initiatives with our partners to make the town a safer place for everyone.”