Passports to be taken off illegal drug users in Boris Johnson’s new crackdown

The illicit drugs market in the UK has been estimated to be worth £9.4 billion a year.

Benjamin Cooper
Sunday 05 December 2021 05:53 GMT
The Prime Minister will this week launch a ten-year plan to tackle drug-related crime which will include removing passports and driving licences from offenders, it has been reported (James Manning/PA)
The Prime Minister will this week launch a ten-year plan to tackle drug-related crime which will include removing passports and driving licences from offenders, it has been reported (James Manning/PA)

The Prime Minister will this week launch a 10-year plan to tackle illegal drug-related crime which will include removing passports and driving licences from offenders, it has been reported.

The crackdown will also include football-style travel bans, harsher sentences for drug dealers and measures to break up County Lines gangs.

The Sun reported Boris Johnson will outline “record” funding for addiction treatment and recovery services, with more money promised for the 50 local authorities with the worst drug issues including Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Liverpool.

We're keeping nothing off the table

Boris Johnson

“We need to look at new ways of penalising them. Things that will actually interfere with their lives,” Mr Johnson told the paper.

“So we will look at taking away their passports and driving licences.

“We’re keeping nothing off the table,” he added.

The Government announced in July it would establish a new unit to help end illegal drug-related illness and deaths, as the second part of Dame Carol Black’s Independent Review of Drugs was released.

The first phase of the review, published in February last year, estimated there were 300,000 opiate or crack users in England, and around one million people using cocaine per year.

Meanwhile, drug misuse poisoning deaths are at a record high, having increased by nearly 80% since 2012.

Dame Carol’s review also determined the illicit drugs market in the UK is worth £9.4 billion a year, but costs society more than double that figure.

If health considerations, the cost of crime and societal impacts are combined, the total cost of illegal drugs is £19 billion annually.

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