Mike Barton, Police Chief, Says UK Should Decriminalize Drugs Because Drug War Is Failing
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UAE, UK launch joint military exercise
He said: “Not all crime gangs raise income through selling drugs, but most of them do in my experience. “So offering an alternative route of supply to users cuts off the gang’s income stream. “If an addict were able to access drugs via the NHS or some similar organisation, then they would not have to go out and buy illegal drugs. “Drugs should be controlled. They should not, of course, be freely available. “I think addiction to anything – drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc – is not a good thing, but outright prohibition hands revenue streams to villains.” Under Mr Barton’s direction, Durham Constabulary launched Operation Sledgehammer, a sustained campaign to “get in the faces” of organised crime gangs. He has previously claimed to seek inspiration in the way notorious Prohibition-era mafioso Al Capone was finally brought down not for bootlegging, but tax evasion. The officer, who has served for nearly 34 years, said he had witnessed a worsening drug addiction problem since prohibition began in 1971 with the Misuse of Drugs Act. He argued that pushers had made billions from adulterated drugs, transforming them into local folk heroes for young people. “Decriminalising their commodity will immediately cut off their income stream and destroy their power,” he said. “Making drugs legal would tackle the supply chain much more effectively and much more economically than we can currently manage.” Mr Barton said that offering drugs therapeutically through the NHS and similar organisations would avoid the spread of HIV and hepatitis C among needle users. But he underlined that he was in favour of their use in a controlled environment, rather than a “free for all”. “I am saying that people who encourage others to take drugs by selling them are criminals, and their actions should be tackled,” he said.
UK boat company suspends service after blaze
Abu Dhabi: The UAE Navy and UK Royal Navy Task Group yesterday launched joint military exercises across the UAE to safeguard maritime security, economic prosperity, and freedom of navigation in the region, a top UK commander said on Monday. The war games codenamed Sea Khanjar, which will last until October 9, will see the UK Response Force Task Group deploys a range of the Royal Navys capabilities, said Commodore Paddy McAlpine, Commander UK Task Group, which forms part of the Royal Navys Response Force Task Group (RFTG). RFTG is the UKs high readiness maritime force, comprising ships, submarines, aircraft and a landing force of Royal Marines, ready at short notice to act in response to any contingency tasking as required by our government. Commodore McAlpine said he was proud to be commanding the Task Group in this years Cougar deployment. This demonstrates the Royal Navy and UKs enduring commitment to the security of the UAE and is an excellent opportunity to build on our strong defence relationship. The Response Force Task Group was formed in 2011 and is based around a Lead Commando Group and provides the UK with a deployable, very high readiness, flexible capability. In order that this capability can be fully maintained for UK contribution to international defence and security, the task group deploys annually, conducting a series of exercises, to something we call Cougar, Commodore McAlpine said. He added this years Cougar deployment has already operated in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, before arriving in the Gulf. Cougar 13 involves exercising with Gulf partner nations in order that together we can safeguard our shared interests of maritime security and economic prosperity, and effectively cooperate on issues such as freedom of navigation in the region. While in the Gulf my Task Group will exercise its capability and continue to strengthen relationships with key partners in the region. The Task Group is not the only Royal Navy presence in the Gulf region. RFTG has ships permanently in the Gulf region, building on our persistent presence engaged with our partners on matters of defence and security. Commodore McAlpine said the Response Force Task Group will be exercising across the UAE. We will be active offshore, and on land. This gives the Royal Navy an excellent opportunity to test the full extent of our ability to undertake force protection measures, air defence exercises and also for the Royal Marines to be able to exercise their amphibious capabilities. He said the exercise will be jointly commanded by the UK and UAE military and will be conducted offshore and on land. This gives the UK and UAE an excellent opportunity to test the full extent of our collective ability to undertake force protection measures, air defence exercises and also for the Royal Marines and UAE Presidential Guard to exercise their amphibious capabilities. It demonstrates the high priority the UK places on its defence and security relationship with the UAE.