Pioneering Project Adder announces seizures of more than £2 million during event to mark one-year anniversary in Newcastle
06 May | 10:27

A pioneering project which aims to tackle drug addiction and clampdown on the supply chain has recovered criminal assets worth more than £2,300,000 in its first year of action and helped more than 700 people begin treatment for their substance misuse.

Project ADDER (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery) – a unique diversionary scheme is in operation across 13 different areas across England and Wales – and recently saw it one year anniversary marked with a special event which brought all partners together.   

As part of the project, Northumbria Police works in partnership with Newcastle City Council and a range of other charities and services to help support  residents and their families impacted by addiction, to stop the exploitation of vulnerable people, and dismantle the criminal organisations behind the supply of illegal and harmful drugs.

And, in the 365 days which Adder has been in action in Newcastle, the Force has executed 82 warrants and made 307 arrests.

Officers have also seized £267,546 of suspected criminal cash, £305,000 in crypto currency and assets worth £164,700.

As part of the activity, illegal drugs worth £1,564,565 were seized along with six cannabis farms and 67 weapons.

In relation to supporting people into recovery, almost 1,000 people have engaged with treatment services including harm minimisation services, care coordinators and outreach teams. A total of 52 relatives of drug users have been provided with face-to-face support between January and March 2022, and 226 Naloxone kits – used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose – have been distributed to treatment services through ADDER funding.

Praising Project Adder’s first year of action, Force lead Superintendent Jamie Pitt said: “We know that the people who are often caught up cycles of addiction, exploitation and manipulation at the hands of criminals are some of the most vulnerable in our communities and it is only right that they are offered support.

“That’s what Project Adder does, it offers assistance and brings services together which mean as a Force, we can develop our intelligence and investigatory capacity, support our partners in reducing drug- related harm whilst helping to signpost those in need to the vital recovery services they deserve.

“This year has also seen us carry out a range of enforcement activity to take out those supplying drugs and profiting from misery. We have made 307 arrests and taken more than a million pounds worth of illegal drugs out of the system outing a series dent in the pockets of organised criminals. Long may our work continue.”

Lorna Smith, Interim Director of Public Health at Newcastle City Council, said: “We know that drug and alcohol issues can impact not only individuals, but also families and communities and can exacerbate health, social and economic inequalities.

“The additional investment has meant tailored responses for those affected, including dedicated physical health care support, multi-disciplinary teams (including family support) and increasing earlier intervention and support.

“Our aim is to support people to recover and live to their full potential. The progress we have seen so far is testament to our partnership commitment and drive with, we look forward to further improving services and outcomes for residents of Newcastle.”

Policing and Crime Minister Kit Malthouse said: “Illegal drugs destroy communities – they drive crime and violence and cost society billions each year.

“But the human toll is incalculably larger, measured not in pounds but through lives lost, vulnerable people exploited and families ripped apart. That’s why our first of its kind Drug Strategy, backed by record investment, is intent on delivering a whole system approach to tackling supply and demand.

“Project ADDER in Newcastle has achieved great results in its first year, helping people turn their lives around, rid the city of drug peddlers and make their streets safer for the future Our Drugs Strategy .”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “To fight crime we must back our police who pursue these organised criminals who push drugs into our communities. To prevent crime, we must also help those offending because of exploitation addiction and inequality. And to fight crime we must back our police who pursue these organised criminals who push drugs into our communities.

“There’s no two ways about it the numbers paint a very bleak reality – a crisis - and we have to get tough and throw everything we’ve got at this and we are.

“From £1m worth of class A drugs seized to more family support and recovery services available to those in need. These are wins that will benefit not just those struggling with addiction, but also the communities and residents of Newcastle who have to deal with the consequences of these untreated addictions.”

For more information about support services in Newcastle visit: Drugs and Alcohol | Newcastle City Council

 To find out more about Project Adder, visit: Project ADDER - GOV.UK (

Read more: More than 600 organised crime groups disrupted by ADDER projects - GOV.UK (

Further figures

Class A £1,325,625

Class B £215,145

Class C £23,800

Six cannabis farms

67 weapons seized

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