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Ben Twomey is the Head of Policy for a leading children’s rights charity specialising in supporting care-experienced young people, who are disproportionately affected by addiction and exploitation by drug gangs. Working for three Police and Crime Commissioners, Ben led on drug policy in both the West Midlands and County Durham. Ben’s policies have been praised by Government Ministers, Cross-Party Parliamentary Groups, national treatment agencies and senior police officers. Ben authored the West Midlands Drug Policy in early 2018, transforming the region’s response to substance misuse with plans that included diversion schemes, heroin assisted treatment, safety testing of drugs at festivals, and kitting out police officers with the heroin antidote naloxone. In County Durham, Ben was involved in early discussions for the ‘Checkpoint’ diversion scheme, which since 2015 has led to fewer criminal records for drug possession and reoffending rates falling by 40% among those on the programme.

Nationally, Ben is a member of Release’s Naloxone Steering Group and the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children. He has a Masters of Law with distinction from the University of Warwick, and a first class History and Politics degree from the University of York. When he was 22 years old, Ben also became the youngest candidate ever in the country to stand in a PCC election, where he emphasised treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal justice one.