‘Not fit for purpose’ drugs strategy updated by Lincolnshire Police

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Lincolnshire Police are set to update their county-wide drugs strategy after the current one was found “not fit for purpose”.

It follows a query by the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel asking whether a “county-wide drugs strategy would provide improved outcomes to tackling the issues caused by drugs.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones told the panel that there was already a strategy in place, however, he added: “It’s fair to say it’s not been deemed fit for purpose.”

A report before the panel outlined how the strategy expires this month (December 2019) and Lincolnshire Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, who is also the National Police Chief’s Council lead for drugs, is in charge of updating the strategy.

Speaking following the meeting, Mr Jones said: “Like all strategies, they’re of their time so when they’re produced, you base it on what you know and what you think is going to happen and then over a period of time you have to refresh it.

“Since that drug strategy came into place we’ve had issues around psychoactive cannabinoids that we saw manifest themselves on the streets of Lincoln a couple of years ago.”

He said DCC Harwin had a “whole raft of additional experience” adding: “He’s going to bring that to bear to make sure that we have got superb strategy for the county to make sure we can tackle that problem.”

It is understood DCC Harwin will present the strategy to members of the Public Protection Board during a private meeting later this week.

A number of towns have seen a rise in the prominence of anti-social behaviour and crime which have been related to drugs recently.

Lincoln businesses, fed up with users of the drugs, including spice, last year began posting videos of users to social media, sparking a city-wide campaign and pushing authorities into action.

A police team designed to crackdown on the city centre’s drug problem made nearly 300 arrests in its first year.

In August last year, Mr Jones revealed ambulances had been called out to synthetic drug related incidents in Lincolnshire more than 230 times in just four months.