Frontline police officers will be trained to look out for signs of potentially harmful gambling among offenders that may be fuelling crime.
Durham Constabulary has become the first police force in the country to sign up to the Gambling Charter, setting out its practical commitment to tackle gambling harm in the workplace and wider community.
Durham Constabulary officers will be trained to spot potential signs of harmful gambling, such as evidence of uncontrolled spending or visible clues such as excessive numbers of scratch cards in the home, so they can help people access appropriate help. One-hour gambling awareness sessions are being brought in for officers across the force, with more intensive training for key roles such as custody suite officers and the force’s Diversion and Rehabilitation Team.
The move is part of a commitment by the force to try to identify the behaviours behind repeat offending and address the underlying causes, which will in turn cut crime, including domestic abuse, in the long term.
The agreement was drawn up with support of leading charity Beacon Counselling Trust and Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen, national lead for addictions with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
As part of the needs assessment for new detainees, custody officers will now ask about harmful gambling habits alongside more routine questions around alcohol and drug misuse, with people considered to be at risk of harm signposted to available help.
There will be more advice and support offered to officers and staff as part of the force’s commitment to workforce health and wellbeing.
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