Tackling the impact of drugs was top of the agenda at the Safer Cumbria Partnership drugs summit recently, providing the opportunity for key partners from across the county, to discuss the future public health approach to addressing the impact of drugs on communities in Cumbria.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Peter McCall, as Chair of the Safer Cumbria Partnership, hosted the drugs conference with a range of organisations attending, including representatives from Cumbria Constabulary, Recovery Steps Cumbria, The Well Communities, CADAS, Public Health CCC, Joint Combatting Drugs Unit, Project Adder – Blackpool and Red Rose Recovery. Presentations included topics such as the dangers of drugs, how to reduce drug relapses, how best to stop supply and, where possible, prevent drug taking in the first place.
During 2021, Crime and Community Safety Strategic Assessment (CCSSA) reports an increase of 24.6% in drugs trafficking and possession in the county and a 30.8% increase in deaths relating to drug poisoning.
Speaking on the conference, PCC Peter McCall, said: “Drugs can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, families, and whole communities.
“The Police do everything within their power to stop supplies to the county, but it is a much wider public health approach, delivered in partnership, that is needed.
“All the organisations that met today, have some form of plan to help reduce drug use and/or supply. However, by coming together and ensuring our plans all link to one another, we have a better chance to reduce drugs in Cumbria.
“The meeting was a true success, and all organisations agreed to work collaboratively to address the locally identified issues, while aligning to the national ten-year drug strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’.
“I look forward to working with all partner agencies to tackle drugs in the county, but we need the public to help as well.
“Residents of Cumbria know their communities best therefore, I am urging the public that if you notice anything suspicious, to please report it to the Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
“Together we can make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”
Becky White from Recovery Steps Cumbria comments: “Sadly, we are seeing rising rates of both drug use and drug related deaths in Cumbria with close to a hundred people dying in 2020 as a result of drugs.
“Collective action is needed if we are to change this worrying trend and we’re pleased to be working with partners across the county to develop a response that will hopefully save lives and reduce the harm faced by people who use drugs.
“Recovery Steps Cumbria provides free and confidential support and treatment for people who use substances and we encourage anyone who needs help to visit one of our services.”
Detective Chief Inspector David Cooper, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Close partnership working is key to tackling the issues drug supply and drug use has on communities across Cumbria.
“We regularly achieve successes in disrupting drug supply and bringing offenders to justice, however it is clear that tackling drugs and the associated consequences requires a holistic approach with the support of partner agencies and the public. In addition to a hard line on enforcement, we recognise that prevention and diversion is one of the most effective forms of disruption and work with our partners to that end.
“If you have information on the supply of drugs, please contact us so we can investigate. Your information can be vital.
“We will continue to target and robustly deal with those who seek to supply drugs in Cumbria in order to make our county a safer place.”
More information can be found at:
- Recovery Steps Cumbria
- Project Adder
- Joint Combatting Drugs Unit
- Red Rose Recovery
- National ten-year drug strategy ‘From Harm to Hope’
- The Well