politics

Boris Johnson cracks down on 'county lines' drug gangs with driving licence promise


Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti today pledge to dismantle 2,000 more county lines – where city-based drug gangs sell to users in towns and more rural areas using local dealers

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What does county lines mean?

Boris Johnson announces a crackdown on “county lines” drug gangs amid Tory fears Labour is beating them on crime.

The Prime Minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel today pledge to dismantle 2,000 more county lines – where city-based drug gangs sell to users in towns and more rural areas using local dealers.

The Prime Minister will launch a decade-long plan to tackle drug-related crime, which will reportedly include stripping offenders of passports and driving licences.

The crackdown will also include football-style travel bans and harsher sentences.







Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and Home Secretary Priti Patel
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Home Office said £300million would be “invested in pursuing and closing down the ruthless gangs who exploit and threaten our most vulnerable in society for financial gain through the illegal drugs trade”.

The vow is part of the Government’s 10-year Drugs Strategy, published today, to tackle supply of and demand for narcotics.

The Prime Minister, who has previously admitted trying cocaine, said:

“Drugs are a scourge on our society, fuelling violence on our streets which communities across the country are forced to endure.







Prime Minister Boris Johnson launches the new crackdown today
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Image:

PA)

“That’s why, to cut crime and truly level up across the country, we must step up efforts to wipe out the vile county lines gangs who are blighting our neighbourhoods, exploiting children and ruining lives.

“Backed by record investment, the strategy we’re setting out today will attack supply and break the county lines model which sees criminals profit from people’s misery. Those who break the law will have nowhere to hide.”

Some Conservative backbenchers are wary of Labour seizing the initiative on crime.

Keir Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions and has previously spoken of his pride in sending offenders to court.

Labour last week bolstered its frontbench by bringing back senior party MP Yvette Cooper as Shadow Home Secretary.

Crime is seen as a key campaigning issue where Labour is confident it can take on the Tories.

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