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Cash boost to help reduce drugs menace

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THE Government has released extra money to help police fight drug problems in the Maidstone and Malling. A total of £150,000 will be made available to the police in the area to fund a series of drug-busting initiatives over the next three years.

Insp Mark Chambers, from Maidstone and Malling crime reduction unit, says the extra resources would have a "huge impact" on drug problems in the district. Some of the plans and initiatives, which will be paid for through the new funding package, include:

* Tours in schools to reiterate the anti-drugs message to children.

* More money for high visibility operations and extra police drugs dogs.

* Additional cash for a Drug Support Programme which helps youngsters get off drugs.

Money will also be given to Maidstone and Malling Neighbourhood Watch Association to buy video cameras to help cut drug-related crime. The association will also buy hand-held radios to help its Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators stay in constant touch.

Insp Chambers said: "The money should help us make a huge impact.

"It allows us to put extra funds into a diverse range of projects, initiatives and programmes and will help maintain and increase the work we have already done.

"Even so, we want to emphasise that we still need help from the public - any information they can provide us with about drugs is essential. They can telephone the police or Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111 and pass on their information and we encourage them to do so wherever possible."

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