Johnson vows to break down ‘county line’ drug gangs


Boris Johnson pledges to dismantle 2,000 drug gangs from ‘county lines’ as part of a £ 300million campaign to rid the country’s streets of illegal drugs.

The government is to define its 10-year drug strategy for England and Wales, with police crackdown to cut off the supply of class A drugs from urban criminal networks to surrounding counties.

At the same time, he will understand what ministers say is the biggest increase in investment and recovery in an attempt to end the cycle of addiction and recidivism.

The Home Office said there were 300,000 heroin and crack addicts in England who are responsible for nearly half of acquisition offenses, including burglaries and thefts, while the drugs are responsible for almost half of all homicides.

The total cost to society is estimated at nearly £ 20 billion per year.

Among the strategy’s measures is an expansion of drug testing upon arrest, with police encouraged to refer people who test positive for treatment or other relevant interventions.

This could include attending drug awareness classes with criminal penalties for those who continue to use.

Judges will have the power to order drug tests for offenders serving time in the community for drug-related crimes, with the prospect of jail time if they test positive.

When the traffickers are arrested, the police will be able to seize their cell phones and use them to send messages to their customers to discourage drug use and direct them for assistance.

The measure is designed to eliminate the sense of anonymity when people buy illegal drugs by letting them know that the police know what is going on.

A behavior change campaign will be piloted on college campuses to help understand which messages are effective in deterring early-stage drug abuse.

The deterrent and preventive measures will run alongside an aggressive campaign targeting drug gangs, with a pledge to dismantle more than 2,000 county lines over the next three years, involving thousands more arrests.

Police will carry out 6,400 “disruptions” against the activities of organized criminals, targeting the road and rail networks they use while protecting vulnerable youth who are exploited by gangs to sell them drugs.

In an interview with The Sun On Sunday, Mr Johnson said this could include the removal of passports and driver’s licenses from violators.

The newspaper also reported that there would be extra money for 50 local authorities facing the worst drug problems, including Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Liverpool, Hull and the coastal towns of the North East and Yorkshire.

In a statement ahead of the launch of the strategy, the Prime Minister said: “Drugs are a scourge on our society, fueling the violence on our streets that communities across the country are forced to endure.

“That’s why, to reduce crime and make real progress across the country, we must step up our efforts to eliminate the vicious county gangs that are destroying our neighborhoods, exploiting children and ruining lives.

“Backed by record investments, the strategy we are laying out today will tackle supply and break the pattern of county lines which sees criminals taking advantage of people’s misery. Those who break the law will have nowhere to hide.

Interior Minister Priti Patel said police would target “hubs” behind supply lines, making the streets safe for innocent citizens.

“It is clear that drug trafficking is still the root of so much crime – we must do more to stop these ruthless gangs from ruining lives, tearing up communities and exploiting young people,” he said. she declared.

For Labor, shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said that with Class A drug use up 27% since 2010 and drug-related deaths at an all-time high, the action government was long overdue.

‘More than £ 100million has been cut from treatment services, and cuts to law enforcement budgets have pushed drug teams into the background, allowing gangs to thrive , to cope with an increase and to skyrocket demand, ”she said.

“Drug use is on the rise, serious violence is on the rise, antisocial behavior is on the rise. More and more offenders are getting away with their crimes as global prosecutions have collapsed.

“Any government action must be significant enough to repair the damage it has caused. “

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