PEOPLE arrested on suspicion of drug related crimes in Essex will be tested as part of a new scheme.

Thousands of crimes costing millions of pounds are linked to drug use in Essex every year.

The Home Office has given Essex Police a £718,000 grant for a scheme called Drug Testing on Arrest to combat the problem.

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said: “Class A drug users often commit a significant proportion of acquisitive crime.

“The programme aims to identify whether a person arrested on suspicion of certain offences is a Class A drug user, and if so facilitate their access to treatment.

“The evidence shows successful treatment for drug misuse will significantly reduce re-offending, and keep our communities safer.”

The programme will be run for two years and include evaluation by Essex University.