Since the introduction of the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) in April 2003, over 45,000 drug misusing offenders have entered treatment through DIP. The programme continues to have a positive impact in communities not only through the interventions that it offers but also by delivering a more integrated approach by local agencies to the problems of offenders. Acquisitive recorded crime—to which drug related crime (including theft) makes a substantial contribution—fell by 12 per cent. in the year to April 2005 compared with the previous 12 months.
The programme is highly regarded by operational staff and the many offenders whose lives it has helped to change. Its success has been achieved through a combination of additional resources, new legislation, revised working practices and a stronger focus on partnership working.
We are on track to achieve the overall target of 1,000 offenders a week (4,300 a month) into treatment by 2008. In April 2006 over 2,800 offenders engaged in treatment through DIP. The programme continues to be developed and strengthened. For example, from 31 March 2006 testing on arrest has been rolled out to 98 areas.
Those testing positive are required to attend an assessment with a drugs worker. Testing on arrest is a way of identifying drug misusers at an early stage in the criminal justice process. Restriction on bail is now available across all local justice areas in England.