Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Drug and alcohol problems set as 'government priority'

Drug and alcohol problems in the Isle of Man are set to become government priorities, according to the Home Affairs Minister.

Juan Watterson confirmed in the House of Keys on Tuesday that island police would be focussing heavily on both issues over the coming years.

He said that over the past three years just under £800,000 worth of illegal drugs had been seized on the island.

Mr Watterson said the Manx force was doing the best it could within budget.

He added: "If a perpetrator brings a significant quantity of illegal drugs into the Isle of Man and goes through the criminal justice system here, then the chances are they will be returned to Merseyside for the completion of their sentence so the UK will pick up the cost of their own prisoners."

In a recent "snapshot" of official prison statistics, the government revealed that 44 out of 108 inmates on the Isle of Man (about 40%) were serving sentences for drug-related offences.

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