Pubdate: Thur, 21 Oct 1999
Source: Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Copyright: 1999 Eastern Counties Newspapers Group Ltd
Contact:  Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, UK
Author: Amanda Patterson


Drug users and alcoholics are to be offered more help to fight their
addictions in a bid to slash the county crime rates.

Norfolk police are to appoint three people to work in station and
court cells at Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn to help addicts
in custody seek immediate treatment.

Norfolk Police Authority has approved plans to spend 25,000 pounds on
a worker for Norwich.

And, if funding comes from the Home Office, two extra posts will then
be created in Yarmouth and Lynn.

Police authority member Peter Papworth said: "I believe anything that
helps to reduce drug use should be supported 110 per cent.

"Drugs are at the background of over 50 per cent of

The three would work with counsellors from the city's Matthew Project,
which helps abusers overcome their dependency problems.

The scheme is likely to win home Office backing following prime
Minister Tony Blair's promise to "get tough on crime and tough on the
causes of crime."

It is a view shared by John Payne, also member of the Police
Authority, who said prevention was better than cure.

"Trying to tackle crime is creative and must be the way forward", he

Since 1991 all people arrested and held in custody in Norwich have
been handed self-referral cards, but only around 45 people a year
currently contact the 24-hour helpline. 

- ---
MAP posted-by: manemez j lovitto