Speaking on the rise in deaths from illicit drugs, APCC Lead on Alcohol & Substance Misuse, PCC Hardyal Dhindsa and Deputy Lead PCC Arfon Jones said:
"PCCs are gravely concerned by the record rise in drug related deaths shown by ONS statistics. We have consistently made the case for a greater emphasis on tackling the demand for drugs through prevention and making communities safer by investing in evidence-based drug treatment and recovery services.
"PCCs are leading the way with innovative local approaches to reducing the underlying issues fuelling drugs misuse by facilitating multi-agency working, and nationally we are working closely with our partners in health, criminal justice and policing to support effective interventions and treatment.
"Whilst we welcome any steps taken by Government to reduce drug related deaths, addressing funding cuts for drug treatment services and reducing the risks of future disinvestment must form part of the review. We remain concerned that the removal of the ring-fenced requirement for Local Authorities to invest in public health services, particularly against the backdrop of competing demands, could see the further erosion of these services, which are a key part of local public health responsibilities.
"PCCs will continue to make the case for a sustainably funded multi-agency approach to reduce drugs misuse and drug-related offending in our communities."