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Hampshire Constabulary is introducing a scheme aimed at educating first time offenders who are under the influence of cannabis or alcohol.
A course is offered with the £80 penalty notice for public order offences where a person is impaired, being drunk and disorderly, being drunk and incapable, causing criminal damage while under the influence or found in possession of cannabis.
Attendees pay £40 for the three hour interactive course, and their original fine is cancelled. The course allows people to explore why they use drink or drugs, the long term effects, and how to avoid offending in the future.
The courses are run by Druglink, a registered charity working with a number of other police forces.
Chief Inspector Steve Fower, who is the force lead for this project, said:
“We know that the other forces currently offering these courses have seen positive results. This is about giving first time offenders the opportunity to look at what they’re doing and make more informed choices about their behaviour and lifestyle, to create better futures for themselves.”
Sue Green, Harm Minimisation and Training Services Manager from the Druglink charity, said:
“The courses are a short, sharp intervention with very positive outcomes. Attendees are made aware of the physical and psychological harms of using alcohol and cannabis and how their continued behaviour will impact on their future lives, including employment prospects and travelling to other countries.”