After the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, stated on Sunday that he will inform the police to investigate the cocaine remains found in 11 of the 12 toilets of the British Parliament, the Government of Boris Johnson announced this Monday a plan to provide rehabilitation to crack and heroin addicts to avoid possible crimes and reinforce the prosecution of drug retail networks, which often involve minors. The Executive’s project, a 10-year strategy, was known only one day after the Sunday Sunday Times It was revealed that 11 of the 12 toilets tested in the Westminster Parliament tested positive for traces of cocaine and that the Speaker of the House even suggested that he considers using trained dogs to detect illegal substances in the facilities. “The reports on illicit drug use in Parliament … are deeply worrying and I will urgently raise them to the Metropolitan Police this week,” Hoyle told the BBC.
The sites where traces of cocaine were found are scattered throughout the building, and include the mixed toilets in one of the press areas, as well as men’s and women’s toilets near Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office and the president’s seat. of the Commons.
The Sunday Times assures in its information that “many sources have described occasional cocaine use by a group of deputies”, and details that two drug sellers were arrested and another 13 people arrested for possessing illicit substances “within or around the parliamentary compound. ” During last year. “Dozens of MPs, Lords, councilors, investigators and employees have shared their stories about drug abuse in the halls of power in the UK on condition of anonymity,” the newspaper describes. “There is a culture of cocaine in Parliament,” says a Westminster veteran, who says that “some are household names of the house, others are young and ambitious MPs and officials.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the anti-drug plan a day after information revealed by The Sunday Times on a visit to the Merseyside police headquarters (north of the country). The leader explained that the operation against 2,000 street distribution gangs, valued at 300 million pounds (352 million euros), will be accompanied by “the largest investment ever made in treatment” for addicts. According to the Home Office, there are some 300,000 crack and heroin addicts in England who are “responsible for almost half of crimes such as robbery and theft”, while drugs are behind almost half of all homicides committed in the country. The Interior data suggest that the cost of this scourge for the country is estimated at 20,000 million pounds (23,500 million euros) a year.
“Overwhelmingly, the problem is caused by 300,000 people whose lives are just chaotic, who are torn apart by their own addiction,” Johnson said. The premier He considered that it is necessary to “help them and provide them with treatment”, at the same time that it is necessary to “attack harshly” against organized gangs. Johnson also said he intends to “break the cycle of always arresting and incarcerating the same drug addicts.”
According to him, the operations launched to dismantle the retail gangs that distribute their product to customers in other counties with whom they contact via telephone (known in the United Kingdom as county lines) have achieved the closure of 1,500 networks and more than 7,400 arrests have been made.
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The Labor opposition lamented that reforms are long overdue and cuts in police budgets are seen as allowing drug trafficking organizations to grow.
According to official data, drug-related deaths in England and Wales are now at their highest level since 1993 – when this data began to be counted – and 4,561 people died from this cause in 2020 alone.