Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden welcomed the Home Secretary to Lancashire, to discuss projects that the Government have funded to tackle drug misuse and how the Commissioner is taking the fight to criminals across the county.
The visit on Thursday 9th June saw Priti Patel MP join Andrew, Detective Ch Supt Sue Clarke Head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Scott Benton MP, and members of the £4.95m Project ADDER project, which aims to dismantle supply chains and support people who misuse drugs into recovery and the Home Office has funded, to hear how it is progressing.
Blackpool saw one of the very first Project ADDER pilots launch last year, with a police enforcement team working to break down illegal drugs supply chains whilst others work to support people on the path to recovery, with tailored support to enable them to rebuild their lives.
Andrew also discussed with the Home Secretary the importance of partnership working to make this kind of project possible, working collaboratively to help people turn their lives around and keep our streets safe.
He also highlighted the progress he's making across Lancashire to deliver is Fighting Crime Plan, increase public confidence officers will be there when people need them and make life as difficult as possible for offenders.
Speaking afterwards Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said:
It was fantastic to welcome the Home Secretary to showcase Project ADDER and the brilliant work everyone involved is doing to get tough on drugs gangs, taking the fight to those who are exploiting communities whilst also being there for those who are unfortunately victims of exploitation.
We also talked about what we've delivered in my first year in office, reopening police front counters, strengthening neighbourhood policing teams and increasing the number of arrests related to organised crime.
This project highlights how by working constructively with Government, we can secure further investment into the fight against crime and importantly, deliver results that remove criminals from our streets and keep vulnerable people safe.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Illegal drugs destroy communities and tear families apart, so getting to grips with the problem and making our streets safer by ridding them of the scourge of drugs is a key priority for me.
That’s why we have funded Adder projects in 13 areas in the country like this one in Blackpool, to make sure ruthless drug dealers are tracked down and put behind bars.
Adder projects are also helping thousands of people addicted to drugs to break out of the vicious cycle and turn their lives around.
DCS Sue Clarke Head of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network and Project ADDER said:
I was delighted to meet the Home Secretary this morning and talk with her about the impact of Project ADDER in Blackpool. She heard from a range of multi-agency partners as well as the enforcement team. We are proud to have hosted the discussion and to have received positive feedback about the work.
Scott Benton MP for Blackpool South added:
It was wonderful to welcome the Home Secretary to Blackpool today to discuss Project ADDER. A brilliant initiative aimed at tackling drug crime and providing drug treatment services to addicts.
This is vital in ending the cycle of criminality, fuelled by drug use, here in Blackpool. The Government has made great strides in tackling crime, recruiting more police officers and making sure sentences reflect the severity of offences.