South Yorks cannabis users can avoid fines

Inspector Paul Ferguson

Inspector Paul Ferguson

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Cannabis users issued with fixed penalty notices for possession of the drug can avoid paying the charge if they attend a two-session course.

The initiative is aimed at educating drug users about the impact of cannabis.

Police chiefs hope reducing the number of users will cut crime.

The scheme is a partnership between South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team.

Inspector Paul Ferguson said it is ‘a means to break the cycle of drug abuse’.

He said: “The use of cannabis is criminal. We know that the drug harms individuals, families and communities.

“This process will have an impact. It’s not about being punitive, it’s about giving people the option and the means to stop abusing this drug.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said: “Schemes such as this fixed penalty waiver scheme in Sheffield are providing drug users with an option to let us help them.

“There is a similar project running to provide alcohol awareness funded by the local authority which is already proving to be a big success. It will be interesting to see if the drug intervention scheme can be as successful.”