Europe

UK government sets out long-term anti-drugs plan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson joins early-hours drug raid alongside Liverpool police

Karim El-Bar   | 06.12.2021
UK government sets out long-term anti-drugs plan

LONDON

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday a 10-year £300 million ($398 million) plan to tackle drug-related crime in the UK.

The Home Office said that around 300,000 people addicted to heroin and crack cocaine are driving the drugs problem, making up almost half of all homicides, as well as of other crimes such as burglary and theft, and costing the UK £20 billion per year.

"I take the view that it is a long time really since you heard a government say that drugs -- Class A drugs -- are bad and bad for society, bad for opportunity, bad for kids growing up in this country," Johnson told local media.

"That's my view, and I think it is something we can tackle, something we can deal with."

Among the potential new deterrents against drug crime are measures to confiscate offenders' passports and driving licenses, as well as to introduce night-time curfews. Drug dealers' phones will also be seized so authorities can get in touch with their contacts and try to convince them against drug use.

Johnson also pledged more investment in treatment and recovery for drug addicts.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "It is clear that the drugs trade is still driving so much crime. We must do more to prevent these ruthless gangs ruining lives, tearing apart communities and exploiting young people.

"This strategy will help to relentlessly pursue the kingpins behind these supply lines, making our streets safer."

The prime minister also joined an early-hours drug raid on Monday in Liverpool alongside local police.

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