Class A Drug Testing on arrest is set to be extended across Essex in a bid to reduce re-offending criminals.

A total of £718,000 has been secured from the Home Office Police Innovation Fund to extend a pilot programme currently being run in Chelmsford.

The programme aims to identify whether a person needs treatment.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex, Nick Alston said: "It has long been known that Class A drug users often commit a significant proportion of acquisitive crime – such as burglaries, shoplifting and robbery.

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