Boris Johnson joins a police raid in Liverpool. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined Merseyside Police on early morning drugs raids in Liverpool on Monday as two people were arrested by officers.
The Prime Minister joined officers as the Government prepares to set out its 10-year drugs strategy for England and Wales.
Part of the campaign will include a police crackdown to cut off the supply of drugs by city-based crime rings into surrounding county areas.
What happened on the raids?
Officers from the Project Medusa team carried out two warrants, in the Kirkdale and Anfield areas of Liverpool, and arrested two people.
Those arrested include a 34-year-old woman from Anfield and a 27-year-old man from Norris Green.
They have been taken to police stations on Merseyside where they will be questioned.
Project Medusa is a Merseyside-led initiative set up to tackle County Lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation, which has seen more than 1,300 people arrested and £1.4 million cash seized.
Why was the Prime Minister on the raids?
The Government is due to announce its new strategy to combat drugs in England and Wales on Monday and the PM’s visit to Liverpool is timed to coincide with this.
The announcement is expected to pledge £700 million over three years to tackle problem drug use and drug gangs.
Mr Johnson told the BBC: “Overwhelmingly, the problem is caused by 300,000 people whose lives are simply chaotic, who are torn apart by their own addiction.
“You’ve got to help them, you’ve got to do treatment. But you’ve also got to come down hard on the county lines gangs.”
A “£300 million gangs crackdown” will be joined by the “largest ever investment in treatment”, the government said.
Labour criticise Government action on drugs
Labour say there has been £100 million-worth of cuts to drug treatment, along with cuts to police budgets and the new strategy is “long overdue”.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Action on drugs and crime is long, long overdue as the Government has allowed serious problems to grow over the last few years.
“Class A drug use has increased by 27% since 2010, drug-related deaths were the highest since records began last year, and the number of children referred as suspected victims of county lines has increased by more than 30% since 2019.
“Meanwhile, more than £100m has been cut from treatment services, and cuts to policing budgets have meant that specialist drug enforcement teams have taken a backseat, allowing gangs to grow, dealing to increase and demand to soar.”