Britain’s most senior police officer has attacked “middle class” cocaine users who worry about “global warming and organic food” but fail to see the harm in illegal drugs.
Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said the demand from well-off users for the class A drug was helping to fuel the surge in violent gang crime.
Her comments came as a top surgeon declared that the whole of England was now in the grip of a knife crime epidemic.
Adam Brooks, a major trauma surgeon at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, told the Royal Society of Medicine’s Spotlight on Knife Crime: “The key message is this isn’t just London – this is everywhere.”
The conference also heard that paramedics often wear stab vests while treating knife victims because they fear for their safety on the capital’s streets.
Speaking earlier at Scotland Yard, Ms Dick said: “There’s this challenge that there’s a whole group of middle class people who will sit round happily talking about global warming, fair trade, environmental protection and organic farming, but think there’s no harm in taking a bit of cocaine.
“Well, there is. There is misery throughout the supply chain.”
She said she met a “little girl” recently who admitted being afraid when having to walk past “drug dealing paraphernalia” on the stairs of the flats where she lives.
Ms Dick added that raids targeting gangs dealing drugs and resulted in 79 arrests saw residents “appearing on the balcony, clapping and cheering” officers as they led suspects away.
Ms Dick said that there had been 87 murders in London so far this year, in what she described as part of national trend in rise of violent crime.
Although she insisted levels of violence were “stabilising”, London is on track to exceed the number of murders recorded in a single year. In 2017, there were a record 131 murders, with that figure including 13 deaths from terrorist attacks.
Many killings are believed linked to gangs fighting turf wars over the sale of drugs.
However, many gangs, whose members invariably carry knives, are using children to traffic drugs throughout the country in so-called “county lines”.
Mr Brooks told the knife crime conference that the number of young victims of knife attacks in England was “increasing massively”.
He said his Nottingham trauma centre treated as many 15 to 25-year-old stab victims in the last five months as it had in the whole of the previous year. Doctors there expect to treat a record 80 stab victims this year.
“These are trauma calls – these are not minor emergency department presentations,” he said.
“Unfortunately penetrating violence [knife wounds] is not a London phenomenon. This is something we’re all seeing, in all the urban trauma centres.
Duncan Bew, a trauma surgeon at King’s College Hospital, said one unit recorded more stabbings among young teenagers in the first six months of 2016 than the previous six years.
He said victims were getting “younger and younger”, with nearly as many girls as boys being seen.
“[We see] spikes in violent activity when people come out of the school gates, which is really sad,” he said.
Ken Crossley, of the London Ambulance Service, said paramedics treating knife victims – often with wounds “increasing in severity” – often donned stab vests.
He told how he put on a stab vest to treat a knife victim at a Tube station where a “chaotic” crowd of 300 had amassed.
Detective Superintendent Sean Yates, from the Met’s violent crime taskforce, said teachers should identify young children being exposed to Detective Superintendent Sean Yates from the Met’s violent crime taskforce said one part of solving street violence would be for teachers to help warn primary school children away from knife crime.
“There should be conversations had in schools, not necessarily by police officers but by teachers with their children. The teacher understands the class dynamic,” he said.
“We’ve seen an explosion in social media, all young children now have got phones. It’s not unknown for seven or eight-year-old children to have phones. They are being exposed to violent incidents intentionally or not because they’re viewing this on social media.
“The teacher knows the classrooms better than any police officer would, and they can have those conversations one-to-one with children about what they might be being exposed to, what they’re witnessing, or if they’re peripherally being drawn into it.”
Ms Dick’s comments about cocaine abuse sees her join a growing number of politicians and experts, including London mayor Sadiq Khan and justice secretary David Gauke, who have condemned middle class people who use cocaine.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/31/middle-class-cocaine-users-care-planet-ignore-drugs-destroy/