Global: Cashed Up and Hedonistic Western Punters, Drive Drug Demand

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Middle-class drug-users are funding wave of violence

by Baroness Helen Newlove

Speech by the UK Victims’ Commissioner in the House of Lords during a debate on the UK Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, June 11, 2018.

However, no child is born with a knife or a gun in their hand. We must do something in the intervening years before those weapons become essential accessories attached to their hands. They have weapons already–hands and feet. Any strategy must start long before the children have been sucked into gangs and a hostile and violent culture.

If we are going to ask schools, youth services and local authorities to help spot and support these children, then the £40 million committed in the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy is to be welcomed, but I fear it will be a drop in the ocean given the scale of the problem we have to tackle.

The challenge to tackle this issue is obviously for government but it is also for perpetrators. However, let me be clear that when I say perpetrators I do not mean only the children armed with knives or the gang leaders causing terror in our cities but also the middle-class drug users who are funding this wave of violence.

City workers who drink their fairtrade coffee out of a reusable cup during the week think nothing of the supply chain of the stuff they snort up their noses at the weekend. In my view, they are as guilty as the moped riders.

We need to change social attitudes and to stem the increase of crack cocaine use.

A full transcript of the House of Lord’s debate on the British government’s Serious Violence Strategy can be found here in Hansard: House of Lords, Vol. 791, June 11, 2018, columns 1509—1547.

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