Drugs destroy lives. Every year, more people die from illegal drugs than from all knife crimes and car accidents combined. Drugs are responsible for half of all homicides in this country.
Evil drug bosses around the world exploit the most vulnerable communities, devastate and ruthlessly dispose of their rivals, all to line their pockets.
Not only is the human cost of the drug immense, but so is its financial cost, hitting UK taxpayers to the tune of almost £22 billion a year.
Decisive action is needed to tackle the supply chains that are responsible for this misery, reduce the demand for drugs and provide treatment for those under the influence
Our 10-year drugs strategy focuses on these three priorities, backed by an additional £900 million in law enforcement funding and a world-class treatment and recovery system.
Overall, we are investing £3 billion in the fight against drugs over the next three years.
We also fund our flagship project Project Adder, through which police, local authorities and medical professionals work together to target drug traffickers and protect vulnerable people.
It has excellent results and is seriously disrupting organized crime gangs.
We also lead the fight against county drug gangs.
With major support from the Home Office, police have shut down over 2,400 lines, made over 8,000 arrests and protected over 9,500 vulnerable people since November 2019.
Meanwhile, so-called recreational drug users have to admit they are part of the problem. They keep dangerous criminal organizations in business.
Last week we implemented an escalating three-strike policy, under which first-time offenders would be required to pay and attend a drug awareness course, pay an increased fixed penalty or face to prosecution.
People found using drugs for the second time would be given a warning and subject to mandatory, random drug testing for up to three months.
Third-time offenders would likely be charged and, upon conviction, under a civil court order, could be banned from nightclubs, given a drug tag, or seen their passports and driver’s licenses. confiscated.
There is no silver bullet, but Sunday Express readers will know that we have a moral responsibility to act.
This government is determined to drive illegal drugs out of our villages, towns and cities.
There have been more than enough broken hearts.
- Commentary by Priti Patel, Home Secretary