A new initiative to help get drug users and persistent offenders back on track is being piloted in our area.
The Tayside Intensive Support Service (TISS) is being tested in Arbroath, Dundee and Perth and is a partnership of Police Scotland, Action for Children and Criminal Justice aimed at helping these people engage with the services they need.
The service aims to: reduce drug and alcohol offending; reduce anti-social behaviour; reduce fear of crime in the community, which will in turn increase community safety and well-being; and reduce drug and alcohol related deaths.
TISS works closely with the Safer Communities Team , the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal’s Service, NHS Tayside, Scottish prison Service, Tayside Council on Alcohol and various other service providers in Angus.
A spokesperson for TISS said: “A significant proportion of Arbroath’s persistent offenders have difficulty in engaging in mainstream treatment services due to their chaotic lifestyles.
“It has been documented that having a drug and/or alcohol problem can increase criminal behaviour.
“As such, they are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime due to their drug and/or alcohol misuse to fund their addiction.
“This cycle sometimes impacts on their ability to sustain their tenancy, their relationships and general health and well-being, sometimes resulting in imprisonment.
“This service is looking to provide an intensive support for an individual who is willing to engage and signpost them to the various existing services within Angus which are established and are in a position to address their needs.”
This could be as simple as helping them attend the dentist, see a mental health practitioner or get the right legal advice.
Speaking exclusively to the Arbroath Herald recently Chief Inspector Gordon Milne commented on TISS: “My simple policy is if we take the customers away the heroin dealers will have no one to sell to.
“They are chaotic individuals, they are down on their knees addicted to heroin and we are assisting with their recovery.”