Priti Patel’s new crackdown on crime: Police will send text warnings to drug users. Middle-class buyers will be notified by officers from the phones of their dealers.

  • Police will soon send text messages to middle-class drug addicts
  • The tactics will see detectives contact numbers found on drug dealers’ mobiles
  • Authorities will be able to take driving licenses and passports with new powers.

In a new crackdown on criminality, police will send text warnings to middle class drug users as part of an initiative.

The new tactics will see detectives directly contact the phones of users whose numbers are found on drug dealers’ mobiles.

Additionally, authorities will have the power to confiscate driving and passport permits from middle-class drivers who are involved in the trade.

Priti Patel writes in today’s Daily Mail that repeat offenders might be subject to home curfews.

The Home Secretary says ministers are determined to curb demand from ‘recreational users’, such as students and middle-class professionals. ‘Their actions are directly leading to an increase in violent crime and people dying – but they pay no price. That will change,’ she writes.

‘We will bring down the harshest possible legal sanctions and consequences for these drug users. Including criminal sanctions, fines, curfews, compulsory drug awareness courses and the removal of their passports.’

Writing in the Daily Mail today, Priti Patel warns that repeat offenders could even be placed on home curfews

Priti Patel writes in today’s Daily Mail that repeat offenders might be subject to home curfews.

Additional powers will also be introduced to allow the authorities to seize passports and driving licences from middle-class users whose habits fuel the trade

Further powers will be granted to the authorities for the purpose of seizing passports or driving licences belonging to middle-class individuals whose behavior fuels the trade.

UK Parliament of Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle alongside sniffer detection dog Poppy inside the House of Commons

UK Parliament of Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Poppy, the sniffer detection dog inside the House of Commons

They are part of the law and order package which also includes:

  • £145million in funding to help the police smash the county lines drugs gangs bringing misery to towns and cities across the country.
  • All rape victims will be able to provide evidence via video link. This is a step to increase the woeful prosecutor rates.
  • For drug offenses, community service recipients will be subject to drug testing. Jail may also be an option for anyone caught using banned substances.
  • Further support is available at the drug treatment centres in order to wean addicts from their addictions and help them rebuild their lives.
  • Publication of new crime ‘scorecards’ designed to identify weaknesses in tackling a string of offences, including rape and sexual assault. 
  • White paper for prisons that contains measures to improve discipline and reduce drug supply.
  • To identify people who are in need of help, we have expanded drug testing for those arrested on other charges.
  • Students are warned by an advertising campaign that drug abuse could ruin their lives.

Boris Johnson yesterday said the Government’s ten-year drugs strategy would aim to turn the tide on the vile trade that is ‘killing kids’.

While much of the focus will be on shutting down another 2,000 county lines operations, the Prime Minister also issued a warning to ‘lifestyle’ users whose cash keeps the industry afloat.

‘These people think it’s a victimless crime. It isn’t,’ he told The Sun on Sunday. ‘We are going to look at new ways of penalising them. They will be affected by these things. So we will look at taking away passports and driving licences.’

Boris Johnson yesterday said the Government’s ten-year drugs strategy would aim to turn the tide on the vile trade that is ‘killing kids’ (File image)

Whitehall sources claim that the texts are intended to shock recipients. ‘Too many people think they are anonymous when they are buying drugs,’ they said. ‘The idea is to shock them into thinking again. When their phone goes from what they think is their dealer, they’ll instead find a message from the drugs squad.’

The Home Office said part of the £300million drugs package would be used to dismantle 2,000 county lines drugs operations, in which criminals exploit vulnerable youngsters to deliver drugs to towns and cities outside the main conurbations.

The strategy will also provide more funds to assist addicts in kicking their habit. Sources at the Home Office denied yesterday that this new approach would result in less users going to prison.

The overall cost of drugs crime is estimated at £20billion a year. 

Stop being a bad habit


Drug misuse was responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths in England and Wales last fiscal year. To make matters worse, approximately half of all burglaries or robberies in England and Wales were committed by drug addicts desperate for a quick fix.

Meanwhile, pushers make fat profits, comfortable in the knowledge they are unlikely to be caught – and if they are will probably receive a soft sentence.

So Boris Johnson’s ‘ten-year plan’ to come down harder on dealers and recreational users, while giving better treatment to addicts, is both welcome and overdue.

This is a national struggle in which all of us have an interest, as Priti Patel (Home Secretary) writes today in the paper. Many crackdowns have occurred in the past and all ended in defeat. We can do better.