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About the programme
We have invested a total of £59 million in Project ADDER, which is set to run until March 2023.
The programme focuses on co-ordinated law enforcement activity, alongside expanded diversionary programmes (such as Out of Court Disposal orders), using the criminal justice system to divert people away from offending.
As a pathfinder programme, Project ADDER is underpinned by a robust monitoring and evaluation framework, building the evidence base to inform our longer-term strategic approach. This includes an independent evaluation to be carried out by Kantar Public.
We have worked closely with the police and local authority treatment commissioners in each area to coproduce detailed delivery plans, taking into account local need with a focus on a whole-system response with enhanced partnership working.
The local projects are complemented by Home Office and National Crime Agency (NCA) activity to tackle middle market drugs supply through the establishment of a new NCA/Merseyside Police Joint Drugs and Firearms Unit (or organised crime partnership) and a Near Europe Taskforce working with Near Europe partners to disrupt drug supply from the region.
The programme seeks to ensure that more people get effective treatment, with enhanced treatment and recovery provision, including housing and employment support, and improved communication between treatment providers and courts, prisons, and hospitals.
Over the lifespan of the programme, we have 4 overarching aims:
- to reduce drug-related death
- to reduce drug-related offending
- to reduce the prevalence of drug use
- sustained and major disruption of high-harm criminals and networks involved in middle market drug/firearms supply and importation
The first Project ADDER locations were launched in January 2021 in some of the areas hardest hit in England and Wales. These are:
- Swansea Bay
Building on this approach, the government announced an expansion of the programme in July 2021, to include:
- two London boroughs (Tower Hamlets and Hackney)
- three local authorities in Liverpool City Region (Liverpool City, Knowsley, Wirral)