People are dying – so I am pulling together a system-wide approach to the impact of illegal drugs

As Home Secretary, I am determined to cut crime and restore confidence in our criminal justice system. People must be able to live their lives knowing their family, community and country is safe.

To do this, right across Government we must help those who are addicted to drugs while we also tackle drug misuse. Drugs ruin lives and devastate families while drug-related crime can plague communities. Behind every illicit deal there is a trail of violence and exploitation. Meanwhile, criminal gangs enrich themselves, profiting from human misery.

That is why, today, I am announcing a £148 million funding package, to pull together a system-wide approach to the impact of illegal drugs. This includes £40m of new money to continue tackling county lines and drugs supply.

This work, has brought together all aspects of law enforcement, the police and the National Crime Agency resulting in 3,400 arrests, more than 550 county lines being closed, more than £9m street value of drugs and £1.5m cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

These resources are supporting law enforcement to dismantle criminal gangs, tackle the supply of drugs and make our communities safer. But tackling the source is just one part of this problem, and that is why our focus must also be on protecting people from drugs.

Project Adder, (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) is a new system-wide approach to drug misuse. It brings together the police, local councils and health services to reduce drug-related offending and drug use. It will run in five areas, Blackpool, Hastings, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Swansea Bay.

This is an ambitious initiative, but I make no apology for that. While people are dying and our communities are suffering, we have a moral responsibility to act.

Alongside tackling county lines drugs, an extra £80m will also be invested into drug treatment services across the country.

Through the new measures will accelerate our law enforcement action against dealers, bear down on their supply lines and help those with drug problems escape the cycle of addiction.

By cracking down on criminal gangs and reducing demand for the illegal drugs they profit from, we will make our communities safer.

As we look to the future after the coronavirus pandemic, I am determined to ensure we build back safer.