Derbyshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa has announced the launch of a new help service to support treatment-resistant street drinkers and drug users in the city centre.
The £77k pilot service, which will launch on June 1, will see two specialist workers working from the Padley Day Centre in Beckett Street to manage and support a core group of up to 20 homeless individuals with dependency issues and other social problems.
It is the result of months of work from a number of agencies brought together as a result of the Commissioner's City Centre Summit to tackle antisocial behaviour by rough sleepers, beggars, street drinkers and drug users.
The new service has been partially funded by a £35k investment from Derbyshire City Council Public Health and £10,000 from Derbyshire Police. Mr Dhindsa is calling on the business community to offer their financial support to the scheme.
"We believe that this service offers a viable solution to the current problems in Derby City and shows how quickly things have moved since my first City Centre Summit in December," said Mr Dhindsa.
"We're talking about a group of individuals with complex, multifaceted problems including dependency, homelessness and mental health issues who have previously not engaged with the help that is already available and continue to disrupt life for residents and businesses.
"The new service will be more robust in its approach and will see skilled professionals building long-term relationships with users to provide an ongoing source of emotional and practical help to get their lives back on track.
"I'm pleased that our joint problem-solving approach identified this gap in current provision and that action is being taken so swiftly. This is a real opportunity to make a difference and reverse a persistent problem in the City and I would encourage the business community to help support our efforts.
"If this approach works, then clearly we will need to sustain funding in the future and this requires everyone with an interest in removing harm from our city centre streets to get on-board."
Under the plan, two full time members of staff will be available at the centre for 42 hours a week to provide case work and support. The support will involve regular multiagency meetings, referral to other services and liaison with health agencies to identify permanent recovery plans for the individuals concerned.
It is planned that the new service will initially be delivered for a 12-month period to assess its effectiveness.