Police and Crime Commissioner calls for fresh ideas to tackle the scourge of drugs in the West Midlands

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has arranged for top politicians, health professionals and drugs experts to come together to find new ways of tackling the problem of drugs in the West Midlands.  
 
The large scale event, organised by David Jamieson, will take place on 15th December 2017 at Edgbaston Cricket Club.
 
High-level speakers will include the PCC, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Chief Constable Dave Thompson, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform Baroness Molly Meacher, along with representatives from Public Health England and from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
 
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: "Despite the good work being done by many, collectively our approach to drugs is failing. Drugs are costing the West Midlands £1.4 billion each year.
 
"It means people are forced to live with more crime, public services are put under strain and not enough is done to reduce the suffering of those who are addicted.
           
"I will report back in February with the proposals from the summit that I believe can reduce the harm that results from drug taking in the West Midlands.
 
"If we are to cut crime and save lives there's one thing we can all agree on; we need fresh ideas.
 
"I am looking forward to this summit bringing them out."
 
There will be roundtable discussions as well as a number of presentations by different organisations who will offer practical options for addressing this issue. The Police and Crime Commissioner will consider the conclusions of the summit ahead of making firm proposals for change in February.
 
The PCC has already published a detailed report on the cost of drugs to the West Midlands. It estimated that the cost of substance misuse in the West Midlands is £1.4 billion each year. Half of all burglary, theft, shoplifting and robbery is committed by people suffering from serious addiction to drugs including heroin and crack cocaine. Every three days in the West Midlands somebody dies from drug poisoning, while organised criminals are profiting from this misery.