Middle class cocaine users are a big problem in the drug trade, says police leader

The middle class need to be dealt with when it comes to cocaine use, according to drugs policy leader for Police Federation.

Simon Kempton, speaking in Birmingham, outlined how middle-class people buying sniff was a contributing factor to drug-related gang violence.

“The big market is people with money to spend and they are ten oblivious to the misery they cause because it is not on their doorstep. Middle-class drug users do not come across the radar police because they are consuming it behind closed doors.”

Kempton added that less wealthy users caused less problems in comparison.

“The only reason gangs are into drugs is because people want to buy them, and a big part that is not street-level users. Street-level users are a problem because they steal to fund their habit but on their own they will not support an organised crime group.

Another topic was the government's approach to drugs, something Kempton believes has been unsuccessful.

“Police do what the government tells them to do. We will enforce prohibition as long as they want. It has not worked."

Sheldon Thomas, chief executive and founder Gangsline, reiterated that the problem regarding cocaine was "organised criminal networks and the middle-class white people who buy the drugs."

Thomas added: “We need to tackle street gangs and gang crime but for me the big incubator is middle-class people who buy these drugs. We need to tackle middle-class white people who are buying cocaine in very large amounts.”

Apparently the UK is on the way to becoming Europe's biggest consumer cocaine, and the ease access to drugs they provide.

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on

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