Recent figures show that almost a third of homicide victims and almost a third of homicide suspects were found by the police to have been under the influence of either alcohol or drugs at the time of the offence.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has published ‘Alcohol and Drugs In Focus’ – demonstrating how Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are working with partner organisations to address underlying problems such as alcohol and drug dependency to prevent crime and to break the cycle of reoffending.

APCC Alcohol and Substance Misuse Leads, Hardyal Dhindsa, PCC for Derbyshire and Deputy Alcohol and Substance Misuse Lead, Tim Passmore, Suffolk PCC said:

The scale of the problems faced by communities was put into dramatic focus by the 2018 British Crime Survey, which reported that victims believed perpetrators to be under the influence of alcohol in 39% of violent incidents and under the influence of drugs in 21%.

“Much more needs to be done to prevent these crimes in the first place and to reduce the prevalence of re-offending which is often caused by substance misuse and dependency.

“PCCs are making a real difference and leading the way by working with partner organisations to examine the underlying causes of crime and reoffending and provide credible and innovative alternative pathways to improve people’s life chances and prevent crime within communities. By preventing crime from happening in the first place, PCCs can help ensure there are fewer victims and the public are kept safe.”

Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, Kit Malthouse MP said:

“This report provides a very useful contribution to understanding what works, and I hope that forces up and down the country will read it with interest.

“Alcohol-related crime in England and Wales is estimated to cost society around £11.4 billion per year.  The equivalent cost of drugs is £20 billion per year.  This is why local action to reduce the harms caused by substance misuse and to tackle the criminality behind the illicit drug trade is so important.

“Our approach to tackling alcohol-related crime focuses on measures to reduce re-offending.  We intend to expand alcohol abstinence monitoring for offenders who are not serving prison sentences. I am therefore pleased to see in this report a number of interventions that aim to divert low level offenders from the Criminal Justice System, working with them to tackle the issues that so often include substance misuse.  Some of the early results which have been evaluated, such as those in County Durham, suggest that these initiatives have real potential to reduce re-offending.  I am also pleased to see excellent examples of multi-agency working to reduce crime and improve safety, such as those in Nottinghamshire, and to tackle issues relating to drug and alcohol misuse on the streets of Derby. “

Read PCCs Making A Difference: ‘Alcohol and Drugs In Focus’ to find out how PCCs are making a real difference through commissioning and partnership work. Examples of multi-agency projects - some of which are award-winning - include:

  • post-release accommodation for ex-offenders in recovery from dependency;
  • pioneering projects to reduce alcohol-related harm associated with the night-time economy;
  • offering a range of evidence-based substance misuse treatment administered by specialists;
  • support to cope with the effects of adverse childhood experiences, including recovery toolkits;
  • funding targeted drug and alcohol treatment projects for groups who need tailored services, particularly vulnerable women and people with mental health and substance misuse problems.



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