Nothing has been so propitious for the drug trade as the War on Drugs. From Carey Wedler at theantimedia.org:
(ANTIMEDIA) Yet another police officer is speaking out against the drug war, this time in the United Kingdom. Former officer Neil Woods worked as an undercover drug cop for 14 years, infiltrating some of the most violent gangs in Britain only to learn his tactics were worsening the drug epidemic. Now, he advocates ending the drug war and decriminalizing drugs as he admits his own role in fueling violence and the proliferation of narcotics.
Woods recently spoke with the Independent to make his case and recount the struggles he faced enforcing the British government’s drug war. He was first enlisted by the Home Office to tackle the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1990s, an effort that apparently ‘pleased the crown.’
Woods says the tactics he helped develop only exacerbated drug-related crime.
“The first place I was posted was in Derby and it wasn’t actually that difficult,” he says. “There were some proper gangsters selling crack and heroin but they weren’t used to the tactic, so although it was a bit scary it wasn’t tremendously difficult because they weren’t expecting it.”
By bringing in new police tactics, however, the dynamics started to change because, as he says, “the thing the about undercover work is that it doesn’t take long for criminals to learn the tactics.”
Woods recounted several close-call experiences, including one where he was forced to consume amphetamines to prove his credibility. In another, a dealer could sense Woods was a cop and repeatedly pressed him on it before he used intimidation tactics to neutralize the situation. Though he escaped unscathed, he often put his life on the line only to find his work was futile.
“The ultimate defence against the development of police tactics is an increased use of violence to intimidate the community in which undercover police officers move,” he explained, describing the effects of government efforts to curb drug use.
As the drug war raged on, drug gangs became even more extreme, and Woods began to realize he wasn’t helping.
“I knew that I couldn’t win early on,” he told the Independent. “But I kept being tempted back into it because I was good at my job. The police departments would say ‘Woodsy, we need you. These gangsters are even nastier that the other ones. They’re burning people to death. They’re using rape as a weapon.”
Ultimately, however, he accepted his inability to make a difference as a cop.
To continue reading: Drug Cop Who Spent 14 Years Undercover Tells Truth About the Drug War