Greater Glasgow Division Drugs Strategy is making progress six months on

Increased support for people with addictions and improved awareness amongst police officers are among actions being completed as part of Greater Glasgow Division’s Drugs Strategy six months on since its launch.

The strategy is specifically tailored to policing and aims to support the wider public health approach to drug related deaths.

It features objectives and actions within a 12-month delivery plan in an effort to help reduce the number of drug related deaths across the Greater Glasgow Division area.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Two peer mentors will join the Positive Outcomes Project (POP) - a Police Scotland led initiative that offers support to offenders with addictions and referrals to partner agencies.

The peer mentors will be utilised in Greater Glasgow Division custody suites to give detainees the opportunity to access support specific to their needs.

It comes after a successful joint funding bid was submitted to the Corra Foundation in partnership with Glasgow City’s Health and Social Care Partnership and the charity Aid and Abet.

Operational officers have received inputs from the Scottish Drugs Forum and discussions are ongoing to arrange further awareness training.

Information sharing between partners has also improved on trends and anecdotal information on specific drugs and concerns of vulnerable people has been shared across the relevant agencies.

Feedback from senior city centre officers highlighted increased awareness of harm reduction work by partners has meant it is now actively considered in the policing approach to allow partners to carry out their work with minimal disruption.

Superintendent Gary I’Anson, strategy lead, said: “This strategy was created to look at what we can do as part of the wider public health approach to reduce the number of drug related deaths.

“A key part of this is improving awareness amongst police officers of the referral options they have, the work of partner agencies, a trauma informed approach and how all of that can help officers carry out their job whilst helping those suffering from addiction.

“I’m pleased the addition of two peer mentors has the full support of the strategy group and fits into our objective of enhancing referral pathways and the ability of the Positive Outcomes Project.

“The impact of coronavirus on the strategy has been challenging. Tackling drug related deaths is extremely complicated with a range of issues that go beyond policing but throughout this 12 month strategy, it’s about exploring how we can maximise our role as police officers while working alongside partner agencies.”

Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Glasgow City convener for Health and Social Care, said: “Glasgow’s Health & Social Care Partnership has been very much involved in setting out a new focus for POP’s approach and remit. This is also embedded in broader outreach work in the city supporting people whose vulnerability and offending is in equal measure.

“Crucially, co-production is at the heart of POP’s work which is now carried out in partnership with Aid & Abet.

“New lived experience mentors are part of the team which works with people in the police custody suites– offering people support and help to turn their lives around.

“Input from people who have been through similar experiences is key to encouraging those who might previously have been reluctant to accept help, to get involved.”

The strategy group includes representatives from the NHS, Glasgow City’s Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland’s Safer Communities and custody divisions as well as local area commanders.

Feedback and learning from this divisional strategy will be shared with Police Scotland’s national drug strategy board.