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Cocaine brings misery, Ian Blair warns
date: 24-April-2006
source : REUTERS
editorial comment editorial comment
Very useful police work, Mr. Blair..... As good as when you shot that Brazilain kid because he was wearing a large coat. paraphernalia must admit though: trying to entrap Kate Moss sounds a lot more fun than doing a detail on some illegal immigrants. Watching too much celebrity TV, Officer?

London police commissioner Ian Blair called on the affluent middle classes to spurn hard drugs such as cocaine, saying they were contributing to the misery caused by criminal gangs.

Blair said Britain had the highest rate of cocaine use in Europe and he wanted to get the message over that mild drug use was not socially acceptable but led to crimes such as murder and prostitution.

"What we have to do as a nation, and London as a city, is to get behind that figure and think what we are doing," Blair wrote in an article for the London Evening Standard.

His message echoed one he issued on his first day in the job last February when he warned that undercover officers were operating as drug dealers to trap middle-class cocaine users.

His pledge to get tough on wealthier users was underlined by the decision to question supermodel Kate Moss after a newspaper printed photos of her apparently snorting cocaine.

It also comes after just over a week after around 200 officers carried out a large scale raid on one of the capital's best known nightclubs, The Fridge in Brixton, south London.

They arrested 11 people, seizing 1,400 ecstasy tablets from three individuals along with 10 wraps of what was believed to be cocaine.

"The point I was trying to get across was not about declaring war on the so-called middle classes," he wrote.

"It was about the need for otherwise law-abiding and contributing members of society ... to recognise that their recreational drug use is directly linked to squalor, misery and death but, conveniently for them, probably not on their doorsteps."

He said there were two options: decriminalisation, a policy which he said other European countries were now moving away from, and getting tough by making drug-taking as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.

"We have to educate ourselves, our friends and our children that drug-taking is completely destructive to the kind of society in which we want to live and the kind of world we want our children to inherit," he wrote.

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