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4th Aug, 2021

Extra cash will help to ‘divert’ offenders

THE Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia has joined with other PCCs to secure additional funding to ‘divert’ drug offenders away from becoming involved in more serious offences.

The money, recouped via proceeds of crime, will fund the Cranstoun charity to deliver the Divert project.

Launching on August 1, it will offer early intervention for to those found in possession of small amounts of drugs.

The results of the programme have been startling with 87 per cent of those engaged not re-offending within six months, when the project was delivered in the West Midlands.

The hope is that by engaging at the earliest opportunity low level offenders get tailored advice and support, steering them away from a further criminal record and other issues such as unemployment, and towards better outcomes in life.

The sessions are delivered virtually, encouraging more engagement across some of the vast rural communities in West Mercia.

PCC John Campion said: “Early interventions can make such a difference to individuals, to communities and to potential future victims of crime.

“By diverting drug users to support and health services, we make a real culture change approach that ensures the best outcomes for everyone.”

Arron Owen from Cranstoun said: “We are delighted to be working with the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner to expand Divert and deliver the scheme across the region.

“By diverting people from drug-related offences to a specialist support programme, we can engage with individuals who may never seek treatment. In doing so, we can work with them to address their use of drugs, reduce harm and break the cycle of drug-related crime.”

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