Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a crackdown on middle-class drug use in a bid to stem violent crime across Britain. So-called ‘shifts in the drugs market’ including more professionals taking illegal drugs is leading to sudden bursts of violence, said Mr Javid.

The announcement follows London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s declaration that middle-class people taking cocaine at parties was fuelling drug-related gang violence on the streets. Recreational drug use was not a ‘victimless crime’, he said, and evidence from police showed a clear link between cocaine consumption and rising violence in London.

This year has seen a surge in violence across the UK, particularly in London. The capital’s murder rate soared by 44% in the year to March with a 23% increase in gun crime and 21% rise in knife crime.

Mr Javid said: “I am committed to ending the scourge of violent crime and will combat this issue using all the tools at the Government’s disposal. We will not only deal with crime when it happens but will go further and strengthen our ability to target and prevent the root causes of criminal behaviour from finding the evidence, ensuring our services are working together and providing the right resources to the right places.”

In the UK, 80% of drug users have reported same day delivery of cocaine being available; with 26.7% in London reporting delivery within 30 minutes.

Cocaine use increasing

In June, a leaked Home Office report blamed increased amounts of cocaine flooding into the country for the epidemic of violent crimes across the UK. The huge rise in robberies, gang attacks and even murders was attributed to an ‘excess supply’ of cocaine and crack cocaine on the UK’s streets. County lines drug dealing is also a direct consequence. This is where city gangs use children as young as 12 years old to help move Class A drugs to out-of-town and rural locations.

Mr Javid is launching a consultation on plans to ensure public sector workers in health, education, social services, local government and housing services make tackling the root causes of serious violence a top priority.

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