The Home Office has revealed early successes of Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery), underlining the importance of cracking down on drug crime and misuse.
Image courtesy Home Office
More than 600 organised crime groups have been disrupted and more than 13,000 people supported in drug treatment interventions delivered by outreach workers just one year on from the launch of the Project ADDER programme, which was set up to cut drug-related crime and harm in England and Wales.
The Home Office highlighted some early successes of the trailblazing project as the Minister for Crime, Policing and Probation, Kit Malthouse, gathered Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) representing ADDER areas from across England and Wales, at a meeting to underline the importance of cracking down on drug misuse and ensuring this threat receives the resource and focus it needs locally.
The Minister highlighted the successes of the 13 Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) sites, a year after the first projects launched. He urged PCCs to continue to work with local authorities and support police in both cracking down on drugs gangs, rolling up county lines and helping those addicted to drugs with treatment and recovery services.
The Home Office can reveal that between January and December 2021, across all sites, Project ADDER has boosted activity and contributed to:
over 600 Organised Crime Group disruptions
over £3.5 million in cash seized
almost 10,500 arrests (including drug trafficking, acquisitive crime, criminal damage/arson etc)
over 4,300 Out Of Court Disposals started by police
over 13,400 drug treatment interventions carried out by outreach workers
So far £59 million in investment has been committed to Project ADDER until 2023 and the government pledged to extend the funding of the programme to 2025 as part of its flagship Drugs Strategy last month. The strategy will see £300 million invested in pursuing and closing down the ruthless gangs who exploit and threaten our most vulnerable in society for financial gain through the illegal drugs trade and £780 million invested in treatment and recovery.
Crime, Policing and Probation Minister Malthouse said: "Drugs degrade society – they drive crime, destroy families, and their illegal use claims more lives each year than all stabbings and road traffic accidents combined.
"This government is committed to eradicating this scourge and I am pleased to see our approach is working, with over 10,000 arrests and 13,000 people encouraged into treatment in the last 12 months through Project ADDER.
"Our 10-year Drugs Strategy will tackle both the supply and demand for narcotics and see the government commit to the largest ever single increase in investment in treatment and recovery."
All Project ADDER sites are now live, spanning across 13 local authorities in England and Wales. These are: Blackpool, Hastings, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Swansea Bay, Bristol, Newcastle, Wakefield, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Liverpool City, Knowsley and Wirral.
The Project ADDER approach combines coordinated and targeted law enforcement with expanded diversionary programmes, such as Out of Court Disposal Orders, and enhanced treatment and recovery services, including housing and employment support.
The Drugs Strategy builds on the Government’s progress in driving down crime, with a 14% fall in overall crime (excluding fraud and computer misuse) between June 2019 and June 2021.