The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has promised a zero tolerance attitude to drugs in south Northants as he marks his first year in office.
Speaking to the Advertiser this week, Mr Simmonds said drugs is one of the key issues facing the whole county.
He said: “We have a problem with drug trafficking on a par with Greater London and Merseyside.
“We need to have an attitude of no tolerance.
“I did announce earlier this year we will eradicate the impact of drugs from our communities. As a nation and as a county we’ve tolerated a certain level of drug taking and I think that’s come to an end.
“Everyone who now gets arrested in Northants gets drug tested.”
Mr Simmonds added the key to success is prevention rather than cure.
He said: “The police force’s core business is about preventing crime rather than reacting to it. All our money gets spent post-crime and I think we need to spend the majority pre-crime. Build the fence at the top of the cliff rather than the hospital at the bottom.
“It’s about being prepared to spend more money to get people off drugs.
“As a community, we put money aside to put someone through a 12-month drug programme. But to get someone properly off drugs we need to put them on a programme for three years.”
Away from the drug issue, Mr Simmonds admitted he cannot afford to recruit more full-time police officers, but intends to plug the gap with volunteers by recruiting an additional 900 special county constables by 2016.
He said: “In the south of the county, one of the things we need to do more of is visible policing.
“While the public like PCSOs, they want people who can arrest people.”
“If Brackley raised, say, 100 special constables, they would be ringfenced to stay in that area”.