Six out of 10 burglaries in North Wales linked to drugs


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Six out of 10 of all burglaries in North Wales are believed to be linked to drugs misuse.

Julian Sandham, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, also revealed that nearly a third of all violent crimes were alcohol related.

He was speaking at the launch of the North Wales Criminal Justice Integrated Substance Misuse Service.

According to Mr Sandham, national research and local analysis had identified drug addiction as one of the key causes of burglary offences.

He said: “From a dip sample of local offenders, over 60 per cent were believed to have current or past links to drugs and this rose to 90 per cent for repeat offenders.

“Analysis also shows that 31 per cent of all violent crimes are alcohol-related with either the victim or the offender, or both, being under the influence of alcohol.

“However, of the violent offences occurring at home, the figure is higher, with 39 per cent being alcohol-related.”

The stark statistics were a demonstration of the need for the new service which is being provided by the health and wellbeing charity ARCH in conjunction with Cyngor Alcohol Information Service (CAIS) who’ve joined forces to create the Affinity Partnership.

ARCH have been appointed as the lead contractor by Mr Sandham’s boss, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Winston Roddick, and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in Wales.

The Police and Crime Commissioner played a key role in setting up the service and accessed £892,000 of the funding, making him the biggest single contributor to it.

The launch event in Colwyn Bay was told there is evidence to show that every £1 spent on drug treatment saves £2.50 to society.

Drug addicts commit fewer crimes from the moment they start treatment and also that the longer they stay in treatment, the greater the decrease in their offending.

At the same time, it’s been estimated that for every £1 million disinvested in treatment, 10,000 crimes would be committed per year at a cost of around £1.8 million to society.

Tackling drug and alcohol misuse was, said Mr Sandham, a key objective in the Police and Crime Plan for North Wales.

He said: Drugs are a scourge on our society and we must do everything in our power to tackle the misery they cause to individuals, families and communities across North Wales.

“North Wales Police have enjoyed a great deal of success in cracking down on organised crime and breaking up drugs supply chains.

“As part of our twin track approach, it is also vitally important we provide suitable and effective support for people caught up in a damaging cycle of addiction.

“The new service aligns perfectly with the Police and Crime Plan which highlights the importance of effective partnership working to deliver substance misuse services, and the need to focus on both the prevention and reduction of harm caused by drugs and alcohol.

“Alcohol is one of the main underlying causes of crime in North Wales and places significant demand on the police service and their partners. Partnership working will focus on reducing the demand and the harm caused by alcohol.

“There is evidence that our twin track approach is working because burglary levels in North Wales are now at a low level.”

ARCH’s North Wales Director Alison Newell said “As a charity with 30 years’ experience of providing substance misuse services we know only too well the devastation inflicted by drugs and alcohol not only on individuals but also on communities.

“Our innovative Health and Wellbeing Programme in North Wales will combine reducing harm and challenging offending behaviour with an holistic approach to improving the overall health and wellbeing of offenders that supports their recovery, enables them to regain their place in society and benefits wider communities.

“The programme is underpinned by the internationally renowned ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’, which are used by health organisations, schools and community projects throughout the world to help people take action to improve their wellbeing.”

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