Former undercover officer that infiltrated British drug gangs, including notorious Burger Bar Boys, controversially asked police to not arrest young street traders as part of the effort to end drugs prohibition. 

Neil Woods was on the frontline for 14 years, witnessing the violence of gangs firsthand. He believes this is due to the involvement of criminal informants and undercover officers.

To counter suspected police surveillance, Gangsters use intimidation and fear against informants. Informants who are afraid to confront the police will not turn against them. They remain in violation of the law.

Woods said that every year the streets were more dangerous due to the presence of people such as herself in those markets.

“And these individuals become more violent because that is how you aren’t caught.” This will only happen if we are more vigilant in policing it.

Neil Woods spent 14 years on the front line witnessing first hand the brutality of gangs which, he believes, is driven by the use of undercover officers and criminal informants. Pictured, Neil, facing the camera, on the streets during one operation

Neil Woods has spent 14 years at the front line, seeing first hand how brutal gangs are. Neil facing the camera in one of his many street operations

In an interview with LADBible, pictured, Woods called for drugs to be decriminalised in order to take the power away from organised crime groups and called on officers to take a stand

In an interview with LADBible, pictured, Woods demanded that drugs be made uncriminalized in order to protect his family. take the power away from organised crime groups and called on officers to take a stand

Woods called for drugs to be decriminalised in order to We asked police officers to stand up and take away the power from organised violence groups.

He stated that he would address police. You should also be able to turn a blindeye and not ruin someone’s life. I encourage you to stop arresting young people for drug possession. You should ignore any orders you receive in this regard. 

Woods was 19 when he joined Derbyshire Constabulary. He pioneered the use of undercover detectives in this field. 

His preferred method of dealing with the addicts was to make friends at the bottom, often posing for dealers, and then slowly gain access to the traders.

The man bought and pretended that he was dealing drugs. He even used them on just a few occasions.

His investigations revealed that many of the gangs against which he was involved committed horrible crimes, and he assisted in holding them accountable. He was responsible for more than 1,000 years of imprisonments for drug investigations. 

Many of the gangs he faced committed horrific crimes and he helped hold them to account. His drugs investigations put people in prison for a total of well over 1,000 years. At one point he infiltrated the Burger Bar Boys. Pictured, hooded members of the Burger Bar Boys gang

His investigations revealed that many of the gangs against which he was involved committed horrible crimes, and he assisted in holding them accountable. He was responsible for more than 1,000 years of imprisonments due to his drug investigations. One time he entered the Burger Bar Boys. Pictured: Hooded Burger Bar Boys Gang members

He said, “My largest case was against the Burger Bar Boys of Northampton.” Formed in the late 80s, the gang took its name from a cafe in Handsworth, Birmingham, where they used to congregate.  

Together with rivals, The Johnson Crew, Burger Bar Boys got involved in drug trafficking, robberies, kidnapping, and eventually murder. Woods joined the gangsters who were using violence to women in order to build a reputation. 

Woods had spent many weeks crafting his ‘legend, or backstory’ before each case. After complaining about the high quality street heroin, he asked to be introduced to the gang. 

He said that he was taken to the place they held court in Northampton’s snooker club. I was brought straight to the ladies’ restrooms. He was appearing terrified as he was going to introduce me. 

The hooded male entered and entered the cubicle. He stood at the toilet, closed the door, and asked, “What’s that?” 

The door burst into open once he had said this, and the four hooded figures entered and started walking slowly around me. One would repeatedly headbutt me as they walked about me. Then, a second time, the one in front would kick me in the back.

Woods believes many of the people capable of sickening violence became that way through exposure to the drugs trade. Pictured, in his LADBible interview

Woods says that many of those who were capable of inflicting such violence are the result of their exposure to the drug trade. Photo: In Woods’ LADBible interview 

“As all this was happening, the man [in the cubicle]I was constantly asking questions and then my mate asked me more questions to try to get us all out. After I realized that it was not possible to get out of there, I decided I couldn’t. It hurt and it had extreme violence. I was certain that the explosion would occur at any time.

Woods persuaded the man in control and offered to sell him heroin and crack cocaine. 

Woods said that this was the crucial moment of the operation. We exchanged our phone numbers. The next day, I started collecting evidence regarding conspiracy. I bought items from every member of the gang and carried it on for many months. 

“I lived in constant fear that immediate violence would strike at any moment. The intimidation was never stopped.

Woods believes that many of those who are capable of violent, sickening behavior were exposed to drugs.  

He stated that most heroin dealers and cocaine users are organized criminals. 

They are being used and forced to deal and they’re encouraged to find new customers. It is their habit that pushes them into the business. Because they work for organised crime gangs and the real gangsters they receive their supplies for nothing, they are often exploited. 

“And yet these people [the small-time street dealers]They are considered dealers and given lengthy sentences. However, they really need to be rescued from the exploitation.

Woods spoke of a 16-year old dealer who, in six months, went from being a “cheeky” teenager to becoming a “terrifying” member of a gang.   

Woods stated, “The reason he became so different and so quickly was that the group with which he was grouped made it very clear for him how to act in order to survive in that world.”

“Policing drug trafficking, having undercover police officers like myself in the marketplace or informants from the police force in that market, creates a Darwinian environment where those who aren’t caught and don’t get grassed up are the ones that have prepared to be the most brutal, to inflict people with extreme violence.  

Woods was eventually unable to do the job he had been assigned. Woods believes that the increase in street violence is due to’successful drug policing. 

He said, “I realized that I could not be in the police anymore and this conflict,” “I also started to experience a panic attack because of my PTSD, and the deep sense of guilt that I felt for doing this to people.

Since leaving the force in 2011, Woods has joined an organisation called LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – which was founded in the USA in 2002. This group advocates for the end of drug prohibition. 

 ‘We must end this war on drugs,’ he said. “I don’t mean decriminalization of drug users, but I also mean that we must take away the power from organized crime.

We must eliminate criminals from the drug market. Legal regulation of drugs is necessary to remove the power from organized criminality, save lives, and ensure a safe society.

Calling for serving officers to refuse to take orders to detain street dealers, he said that: ‘As the international movement against drugs grows amongst law enforcement, it will become more commonplace to protest those orders. It will become more common for people to resist criminalising young people.