Crime Rise Blamed on Drug Addicts 'Dumped' at Seaside

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 20, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Crime Rise Blamed on Drug Addicts 'Dumped' at Seaside


Byline: ROSS LYDALL

A LONDON health trust has been accused of "dumping" drug addicts on a seaside town - sending crime rates spiralling.

Conservative MP John Penrose has attacked NHS bosses for sending 32 heroin and crack cocaine addicts to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset for treatment.

He told Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust to deal with the problem itself.

Somerset police say they have found links with an increase in robberies and burglaries there.

Mr Penrose, MP for Weston, said the addicts were being left unsupervised in the town with inadequate support and without the police and local council being informed.

He said: "When they come to Weston for treatment we need to know where they are going afterwards.

"If they come out before their course has finished they are very vulnerable and likely to overdose again on their first hit."

The trust has pledged to investigate the MP's concerns but said his allegation of the addicts being responsible for a rise in crime was " fundamentally incorrect".

A Trust spokeswoman said the 32 patients had received treatment in Weston from 2003 to 2005.

"Treatment places in London are oversubscribed and often clients prefer to move away from their local area for treatment," she said.

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Crime Rise Blamed on Drug Addicts 'Dumped' at Seaside
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