DORSET'S Police and Crime Commissioner 'strongly supports' the expansion of medicine which officers can use on the streets to help people who suffering a drug overdose.

Crime commissioner David Sidwick has welcomed the Department of Health and Social Care’s announcement that the government will expand the availability of the counter-overdose treatment, Naloxone.

The change will enable a range of professionals, including police officers and probation workers, to provide take-home supplies of the drug to vulnerable people without requiring a prescription, an approach supported by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) in response to a wide-ranging government review of naloxone provision.  

Mr Sidwick said: "While we strongly support these proposals, the use of naloxone is always a last resort.

"We also need to redouble our efforts to prevent people from using drugs in the first place, and to get people with opiate addictions into evidence-based treatment that supports them to come off drugs and get their lives back on track.

"Not only is this best for them and their families, but it’s also one of the most effective ways that we can cut crime, with around half of all homicides and half of acquisitive crimes linked to drug dependency."

Mr Sidwick has also welcomed the Home Office’s announcement that six new synthetic opioids will be banned as Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.