Pubdate: Wed, 06 Feb 2008
Source: Argus, The (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Ben Parsons
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


More than 60 people were arrested in two weeks as police targeted drug
dealers and abusers.

The sweep was part of moves to get drug addicts into treatment and
reduce crime in Brighton and Hove.

Forty-six people were arrested for either possession of Class A drugs
or dealing.

Another 16 people were arrested at the scene of raids for offences
including possession of Class C drugs.

The arrests were made under Operation Reduction, which is led by
police in Brighton and Hove alongside the city's Drug and Alcohol
Reduction Team and the charity Crime Reduction Initiatives.

Its aim is to help users get treatment for their addiction, take drugs
off the streets, prosecute dealers and tackle crime and the fear of
crime in hotspots around the city.

Since its launch in 2005, there have been approximately 435 arrests as
part of the project and 250 users referred into treatment.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Pollard said: "Drug addiction can have
an impact on all communities in the city, not just with the health
implications for the addicts themselves but for anyone else who may
become a victim of crime as a result of some addicts resorting to
criminal behaviour to feed their habit.

"With funding assistance from the Home Office, we have made a real
difference by targeting both the drug dealers and the drug users and
have been able to help more drug users get the care and support they

Addicts who inject drugs are at particular risk of both serious health
problems like HIV and AIDS, and being drawn into crime to fund their

There are believed to be about 2,300 heroin addicts in Brighton and

Burglaries dropped by more 57 per cent in the first two years of
Operation Reduction.

Brighton and Hove's treatment services, which help about 600 people a
year, have been assessed independently as among the top ten in the

The Drug and Alcohol Action Team is working to reduce the number of
people at risk of overdose or accidental death due to drugs.

Drug deaths have fallen by 43 per cent in the city since 2000,
dropping from a peak of 67 to 38 in 2006.

In that time the city was overtaken by Blackpool as the area with the
most drug deaths in the country.

A trial project is under way in the city to prescribe heroin on the
NHS at specially supervised sessions.

Led by the National Addiction Centre and the charity Action On
Addiction, the scheme is being run in London and Darlington.

The previous method of treatment was to give addicts methadone to take
orally on their own.

A harm reduction service centre is also being set up in St George's
Place, Brighton, to provide needle exchanges and help for people
coming off drugs.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake