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New Drugs Diversion Scheme Pilot

Alert message sent 13/01/2020 17:16:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police and partners are starting a second drugs diversion pilot scheme today (13/1) in Windsor and Maidenhead.

The scheme is going to run alongside the first pilot which is in West Berkshire, and both have involvement from a range of partners including Cranstoun, who provide the drug support service, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, who has helped fund the scheme, Windsor and Maidenhead Council and the Youth Offending Team.

Both pilots will be reviewed and these results will help to establish if one scheme could be rolled out across the Thames Valley area.

It will differ slightly to the pilot currently running in West Berkshire which is a voluntary attendance scheme. If a referred individual does not attend, they are no longer eligible for a further diversion if found in possession of drugs again.

The new pilot scheme in Windsor and Maidenhead is a deferred prosecution scheme. If an adult individual does not attend, they are reported for the offence which is likely to result in a summons to court. This does not apply for under 18’s, if they fail to attend, they would no longer be eligible for future further diversion if found in possession of drugs again, in the same way as the first pilot scheme.

Both schemes aim to reduce the harm caused by the use of drugs and drug related offences, allowing offenders in possession of small quantities of illegal drugs an opportunity to be offered a tailored diversion route to address their use of drugs instead of facing prosecution.
The aim is to prevent the cycle of re-offending and long term demand upon the police and judicial services by providing specialist support.

However, offenders found to be in possession of larger quantities of drugs, those suspected of supplying illegal substances or those who do not engage with the specialist support, will face arrest and prosecution.

The new pilot will run for the next three months, both schemes will then continue to run whilst an evaluation is taking place and a decision about any further roll out is made.

More information can be read in our full release on our website - https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/thames-valley/news/2020/january/13-01-2020/drugs-diversion-scheme--new-pilot-in-windsor-and-maidenhead/
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Caitlin Rosetti (Police, Communications Support Assistant, Thames Valley)

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