Every police division in Glasgow will have access to an arrest-and-referral scheme for drug addicts and alcoholics if Labour is re-elected to run the city council, the party has pledged.

The programme would offer immediate treatment to addicts and includes home visits and counselling in an effort to break the cycle between crime and addiction.

It is reckoned that around 70% of all cases handled by Scottish courts are drug related, with addiction inextricably linked to house-breaking, shoplifting and prostitution.

With the local government election race now gathering pace, council leader Steven Purcell has also promised an extra 20 residential rehabilitation beds in the city by early-2008 if he continues in the post after May 3.

It follows pledges by Mr Purcell to target social needs in the city and sits well with his mantra of allowing every Glasgow citizen to "share in the city's success".

In recent weeks, he has promised to cap the price of school meals, as well as creating 1000 new apprenticeships.

The arrest-and-referral scheme, run by Glasgow Addiction Services, already operates in the police's E Divisional headquarters in the east end. It has been running for more than two years after £500,000 funding was secured from the Scottish Executive. As well as breaking the drugs/ alcohol/crime link, the ultimate aim is to steer addicts into employment and training.

In 2005/06, Glasgow Addiction Services, operated jointly by NHS Greater Glasgow and the city council, helped 1803 people in the city into employment, training, education or voluntary work.

Mr Purcell's promise of more intervention comes after new research that claims the Just Say No'' approach to drugs education has failed.

The UK Drugs Policy Commission claims the succession of campaigns since the 1980s persuading youngsters to stay away from drugs has done nothing to curb their popularity and instead endorses giving young people more information.

Mr Purcell said: "Getting people off drugs or alcohol addiction is only half the battle. If they do not have something positive to go into they can easily fall back into these same traps. We must change this."