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Source: United Kingdom Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police and partners have won a national award for the Youth Drug Diversion Scheme that aims to reduce the harm caused by the use of drugs and drug related offences.

Today (20/10) the force was announced as the winner of the Policing and Children category at The Howard League for Penal Reform’s annual awards.

The charity’s annual awards recognise projects and organisations that encourage an alternative to prosecution for children and adults to help reduce the risk of re-offending.

The Youth Drug Diversion scheme gives young people found in possession of small quantities of illegal drugs the opportunity to take part in a tailored diversion to address their drug use as an alternative to facing prosecution.

Chief Inspector Jason Kew, Violence Reduction Unit, Drugs, Exploitation and Harm Reduction Lead, said: “I want to recognise the expertise from a wide range of partners involved in the scheme’s evidenced design, this is fantastic recognition for all of them. But importantly recognising the young people themselves, voluntarily engaging in a programme of drugs education, this award is for each of them.

“We need to change the stigma towards drugs and create a safe environment to self-assess and learn the risks associated with drug use, education is key to positive behaviour change and a reduction in harm.”

CIR

Note to Editors:

More information about the Youth Drug Diversion Scheme can be found in our release here – https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/thames-valley/news/2020/october/12-10-2020/youth-drug-diversion-scheme-to-be-rolled-out-forcewide–thames-valley/

More details about The Howard League for Penal Reform’s community awards can be found on their website – https://howardleague.org/community-awards/

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