A cocaine loyalty card? What next?

April 11, 2018

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Some days I open my newspaper and wonder what this world is coming to. It just does not seem a very nice place to live and it appears to be getting worse. Pictures of children in Syria who have allegedly been attacked with chemical gas appal and upset me. Their faces etched with fear and stained with blood, dust and their own tears is too much to bear and yet we are unable to curb President Hassad and his wicked regime.

Syrian children in Douma / Poppy Patmore at The CountryWives

Photo by Fadi Abdullah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The most powerful man in the world at the moment, President Trump, takes to Twitter to threaten Russia who he believes is partly responsible for this attack on Douma. World Wars have been started by far less threats of retaliation.

In our own capital city stabbings are at an all time high, some would say that the rise in crack cocaine is driving up violent crime. Violent gangs seem to be ruling some areas of London and the stabbings are linked, in some instances, to the need to control and dominate the drug trade in those areas. Drug dealing is a massive business and the stabbings appear to be a by-product. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, is attempting to deal with the knife crimes by bringing in a law against carrying any offensive weapon together with extra powers for the police to stop and search. Having said this there are also fewer police patrolling our streets because of the budget cuts. However Amber Rudd says that has nothing to do with it even though this follows a week when there were nine deaths from stabbings in London, taking the murder total to more than 50 this year so far.

Drug Turf wars map of London / Poppy Patmore at The CountryWives / Blogs

Drug Turf wars map of London

A cocaine loyalty card / Poppy Patmore at The CountryWives / Blogs

The Cocaine Loyalty card

If this were not enough then I turn to page 9 and find that one drugs gang has issued loyalty cards to their customers – one freebie for every five stamps that you collect. The loyalty card even has smiley faces on it. Apparently it is as easy to order cocaine delivered to your door as it is to order a pizza. I am dumbstruck by it all. No doubt there will be an app soon for you to order your drugs.

It has been suggested that these cards are targeted to people in their 30s, 40s and even older. So these 30+ somethings must be the middle-class in highly paid jobs who can afford these drugs. In case, like me, you are not aware of the prices – a wrap costs between £50-£80 depending on the quality of the cocaine. Therefore it is these people who are funding the dealers which in turn is causing the turf wars. As I said it is a business and each gang wants market dominance.

Tony Saggers, the former head of drugs threat at the National Crime Agency, warned last September that cocaine use by ‘middle-aged, middle-class people at dinner parties” was funding organised crime.

So another way to help to stop this terrible street crime in our cities is to persuade people to stop buying these drugs and thus reduce the market. Daniella Westbrook allowed her pictures to be published in the Sun showing the damage to her nose and teeth after years of cocaine abuse. Surely this should put off those thinking about taking this evil and addictive drug.

Once again we have to realise that we can all help to stop knife crime and that it is not solely the responsibility of the police and the Home Secretary. We have to try to improve our world and make it a better place before it spirals out of control. We would hope that the UN security council can find a resolution for the situation in Syria and all the other war-torn countries like Yemen. For us we need to try to return our country back to the ‘green and pleasant land’ we sing about and support the Home Secretary and the Police in their desperate attempt to remove knife crime from our streets. Show your children pictures of the effects that drugs can have on people. There is no such thing as recreational use – this intimates that it is fun which it may be for a very short while. However make them understand that down the chain there are children being used as foot soldiers for these drug cartels and people are dying on the streets as they are caught, literally and metaphorically, in the cross-fire of this business.

My grandmother once said to me, just before she died, that she was happy to be leaving this world as it was no longer very nice. She had lived through two world wars and yet she was bemoaning Tony Blair as Prime Minister (she was a die-hard Tory!). I think if she saw the world now she would wonder what on earth we were all doing allowing it to spiral downwards into this hell hole where we now find ourselves.

For more comment pieces by Poppy Patmore click HERE.

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