A further £40 million to tackle county lines gangs and drug kingpins has been welcomed by Rachel.

The funding is part of a £148 million investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs.

The £148 million package takes a system-wide approach to the problem of illegal drugs. It gives extra resources to law enforcement to dismantle organised criminal gangs and tackle the supply of drugs.

At the same time, it delivers more money for drug treatment and recovery to help cut drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending. It represents the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.

As part of this package, the Government will double the funding available to the police to enable them to take down and bring to justice county lines gangs and drug kingpins. The £40 million of new money to tackle county lines and drugs supply brings the total invested to £65 million since November 2019.

The funding has already seen more than 3,400 people arrested, more than 550 lines closed, drugs with a street value of £9 million and £1.5 million cash seized, and more than 770 vulnerable people safeguarded.

Rachel said:

“Having spent time on the front line with our brave police officers, I have seen first-hand the impact county lines gangs have had on Redditch.

“The work the Government has already done to tackle these gangs has resulted in thousands more people being arrested and hundreds more people being safeguarded, but it’s clear we must still do more to tackle the underlying drivers behind serious violence.

“This extra funding will give our police more resources so they can continue dismantling organised criminal gangs and tackling the supply of drugs.”

An extra £80 million will also be invested in drug treatment services right across England to give more support to offenders with drink and drug addictions, which can fuel crime. This new money will increase the number of treatment places for prison leavers and offenders diverted into tough and effective community sentences. Together the funding represents a comprehensive drive by the government to build back safer from the pandemic by helping people break free from the scourge of drug use and cutting drug-fuelled crime and violence.