County-wide services to deter substance misuse among those involved in crime or at risk of being in the criminal justice system have been introduced by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe.
It’s the latest example of the work that is going into delivering his Police and Crime Plan objective of preventing and reducing crime, by promoting early intervention and sustained recovery among people struggling with substance misuse.
Health and wellbeing charity Compass has been awarded the contract to deliver drug and alcohol interventions to young people across Warwickshire. Compass will base dedicated workers at the Justice Centres in Nuneaton and Leamington to provide services to young people already in the criminal justice system, while they will also offer educational and outreach work to raise young people’s awareness more generally of the consequences of substance misuse.
Meanwhile, national charity Change, Grow Live (CGL) has been contracted by Mr Seccombe to deliver enhanced drug and alcohol support to those over the age of 18 who are in contact with the criminal justice system in Warwickshire.
Co-located with the police Integrated Offender Management teams in Leamington and Nuneaton, CGL will also work with probation services and the courts to support people into drug treatment. Services will include assessment, care planning, outreach and assertive engagement to keep people committed to the treatment process.
Both organisations already work within the county: Compass provides the Children and Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Service in Warwickshire under a separate commission by Warwickshire County Council, while CGL operates a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults (including offenders), families, carers and affected others in Leamington Spa, Nuneaton and Rugby. This is also commissioned by Warwickshire County Council.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Drugs and alcohol are identified as two of the key drivers of crime and disorder, with strong links between substance misuse and an increased likelihood of committing a range of offences, from acquisitive crime to violent crime and re-offending.
“That’s why I have commissioned these new county-wide services which can complement the work that is already going in Warwickshire to combat drug and alcohol misuse, taking a more targeted approach with those at the highest risk.
“I am delighted to be able to award contracts to Compass and Change, Grow, Live and look forward to seeing how the services develop and, crucially, support people to overcome their dependencies, reduce their offending behaviours and ultimately live healthy and crime-free lives.”
Richard Thomas, Service Manager for Compass in Warwickshire, said: “Compass is delighted to be awarded the Police and Crime Commissioner’s contract to deliver the Children and Young Peoples Criminal Justice Substance Misuse Service in Warwickshire. Compass is passionate about supporting young people to make positive choices regarding their lifestyle behaviours.
“We are proud to be supporting Mr Seccombe’s Police and Crime Plan, and by integrating dedicated staff members within Warwickshire Youth Justice Service, we will ensure young people at risk of entering, or already involved in criminal justice services, are accessing our preventative, targeted and specialist services earlier.
“Through working closely with our partners we will continue to build upon and develop opportunities to divert, reduce re-offending and promote healthier lives for young people and their communities within Warwickshire.”
Kirsty Mason, Head of Services in Warwickshire for CGL, said: “We are extremely happy and excited to hear we have been awarded the OPCC funding to provide adult substance misuse services to criminal justice service users. This enables us to provide bespoke interventions via a dedicated team, to those requiring support in abstaining from drug and alcohol misuse and offending behaviour.
“Support is available across the Warwickshire county. We are working closely with partnership agencies including our police and probation colleagues to maximise the positive impact had on the individual and the wider community.”
The new PCC-commissioned services will operate for an initial two years, with options for extension for a further two.
For more details about the general services offered in Warwickshire by Compass, visit: www.compass-uk.org/services/warwickshire-cypdas/ and for Change, Grow, Live, visit www.changegrowlive.org/content/change-grow-live-warwickshire.