Saturday, 12 May 2018

UK and Mexico lost to drugs gangs? Frontline Kent.

You'd think so from the Bank Holiday Weekend carnage of a knife death in Liverpool, a gun death in London and a drive-by shooting.

Redolent of the Sawdust Caesars of Mods and Rockers Bank Holiday gang violence in East Kent in the 1960's but now violence and drugs and deaths more prevalent.

And the National Crime Agency reports a doubling of knife crime in the last 3 years in Hertfordshire and Warwickshire and Cambridgeshire.

The Sunday Times front pages reporting:

"Knife crime epidemic hits the shires” and “City drug gangs bring bloodshed to counties" with knife crime up 20% in London yet 86% in Essex and 274% in Norfolk.
Perhaps from low levels, but even so a concern if you're now more likely to be stabbed in Bedford than Liverpool. And an increase in acid attacks as big city gangs take over smaller town dealers.

As an aside having worked on tourism and regeneration in Liverpool a great British success story from the days of hubcaps and heroin thefts. And relevant for the new Channel Four HQ.

A Home Office report though details 720 heroin and cocaine routes from the main cities of London, Liverpool and Manchester to rural areas. No doubt a top priority for new Home Office Minister Sajid Javid with the Windrush debacle broadly being resolved.

And the Taliban safe havens slowly being eroded from the Pakistani frontier, indeed former cricketer Imran Khan's election bid a precursor for closer Commonwealth activity?

And of course Caribbean Commonwealth tax havens for drug profits.

Kent Police detailing the cuckooing phenomenon of drugs dealers taking over houses in the Chatham Pocket of Kent's decaying towns and drug areas.

And POTUS Trump's NRA Rifle Association speech throwing a little petrol on the fire of inner city deprivation in comparing London knife deaths to USA gun deaths.
As with the POTUS Trump blood-stained hospitals remark, grumbling not unreasonably at the $1BN cost of the new USA embassy offices or new NATO HQ - both price tags would provide a lot of clean new hospitals or elderly care homes - the remarks can be overblown.

Confused too, as with Britain First now jailed for KKK-style race hate crimes, perhaps from his America First campaign.

Over 60 knife deaths in London so far this year higher than usual but pale into insignificance with 60 gun deaths just in Chicago last week.

500 murders in UK each year or 5 police bullets fired is hardly excessive.

The NRA lobby vocal for many USA politicians and also the Mexico border wall - even with many guns shipped into Mexico from USA by drug gangs.

Frontline Kent clearly not immune from the increase in drugs and knives. Dover, Europe's largest port and the main route with Heathrow and Manchester airport for drug smuggling, whether by ferries of HGV lorries.

Belgium, one of the centres of Europe's Golden Triangle of London, Amsterdam and Paris, with the most drugs arrests in Europe.

Frontline Kent with Chief Constable Pughsley and his team active on Slovak AK47 and machine gun seizures for London drugs gangs at Dover.

Kent also the base of UK's largest gun haul with 34 AK47 machine guns at Rochester Marina last year and 3 AK47 and Skorpion Uzi-style machine guns last week.

And Project Pegasus – shades of an Airbase Heroin needed in Shan Myanmar - in place for smaller airports eg Netherlands drug smugglers arrested at Biggin Hill, and Project Kraken for ports and yacht marinas.

Almeria in Southern Spain's Carboneras seafood featuring as a favourite for Colombian hitman Popeye Velasquez of Pablo Escobar cartel, the bizarre Carboneras council hiring him for tourism recommendations(!).

Nice seafood in Almeria of course and just a short boat journey from Morocco for drugs smuggling. Spanish police having a siesta?.

Almeria though a superb success story as in Spanish and EU regeneration - the litter of syringes and heroin vials giving way to cleaned up town centres, Malaga yacht marina, and Almeria University and network of Southern Spain universities from the Sevilla Expo.

UK even slipping backwards on rabies control of pets etc from Europe.

Increased USA National Guard patrols on the Mexico border better than paid to sit in barracks with 1M regular troops in USA - and forward placed into Guerrero?
Even the proverbial cannabis under the stairs or back bedroom becoming the whole attic and basement and barns and outhouses.

The Garden of England may be rather tatty and overgrown at the moment but a 3 foot machete of more use in Thailand's forest than Kent.

But what is to be done? Warm words on this or that and handwringing of no real use. And the ban on zombie knives a start.

Certainly Kent Police firm on drugs under Chief Constable Pughsley with a police-crime ring smashed.

But there are UK improvements:

* enforce zero knives carry beyond the Great British Swiss Army penknife
* buy up and end High St sales of knives and guns
* 3 knife and gun amnesties regularly each year
* publish on all 43 police forces that month’s drugs/guns etc haul and arrests
* QPM medal based towards the USA Purple Heart system if not a specific Drugs Medal with awards for first copper through the drug den door etc
* Tighten Kent's Benelux links: and Slovakia the source of many guns adapted from hunting - shades of the bump stocks gun problem in USA

(to be continued)

Time for Change

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