Britons who use cocaine on holiday could have their passports confiscated under Government’s tough crackdown
- Government introducing new sanctions to decrease demand for Class A drugs
- Those caught with drug will be given chance to attend drug awareness course
- If caught again, they face random drug tests and then passport confiscation
- Priti Patel previously described aim of scheme as ‘cutting the head off the snake’
Britons taking cocaine on holiday could have their passports confiscated under tough new legislation to be announced by the Government next week.
The move comes as part of a variety of new sanctions being introduced by the Government to decrease demand for Class A drugs in the UK.
Those caught with illegal substances will first be given a chance to attend a drug awareness course, similar to a driver awareness course for motorists that are caught speeding.
If an individual is caught on a second occasion, they face having to attend random drug tests at a police station, The Times reports
And if caught again, they may have their driving licence or passport seized, before being prosecuted if they continue taking illegal substance.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will unveil the plans in a white paper, has previously described the aim of the scheme as ‘cutting the head off the snake’ of criminal gangs.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also previously accused middle-class drug users as being complicit in driving up substance-relayed crime across the UK.
The Government is introducing new sanctions to decrease the demand for Class A drugs in the UK
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will unveil the plans in a white paper, has previously described the aim of the scheme as ‘cutting the head off the snake’ of criminal gangs
Former Policing Minister, now Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Kit Malthouse declared war on drug users earlier this year after stating that are responsible for teenagers being murdered in UK gang wars.
He stressed the need for action that will ‘infringe’ on middle-class offenders’ lifestyles, citing the example of confiscating passports.
The new measures aim to create ‘immediate penalties’ that provide a midpoint between a ‘slap on the wrist’ and criminal prosecution.
A Government source added: ‘We don’t want everyone going to court and we hope that measures one to three will show people we are serious about this and the consequences are certain — there’s no point risking taking drugs anymore.’
A consultation will now be carried out on the proposed legislation before it is hoped to be introduced next year.
It will also include measures on tackling the supply of drugs in prisons.
Ministers want the passport confiscation legislation to apply to all drug users, but under current laws police can only take the document if the offence is related to travel.
Anyone caught in possession of Class A drugs – or supplying it – in connection with football could be banned from attending matches for five years, in a bid to tackle violence and disruption.
Confiscating driving licences is understood to be favoured because it is ‘more of a deterrent’ and easier for police to enforce.
In May, a scheme to make offenders whose crimes are linked to alcohol wear a tag that alerts the authorities if they have a drink has been hailed a success, with a 97 per cent compliance rate.
Under the new plans, the Government is trying to improve testing technology to allow officers to test suspected drug drivers at the roadside.
The proposed legislation is likely to be one of Boris Johnson’s last announcements before he steps down from his post
Such testing kits are already available at retailers on the High Street and are used by some employers, but do not currently meet the threshold needed to be used as evidence in court.
Ministers want police to have access to drug testing kits the same way in which breathalysers are used at the roadside.
The legislation is likely to be one of Mr Johnson’s final policies before he steps down from his post, likely to be in September following the Tory leadership election campaign.
The battle against Class A drugs has long been a priority for Mr Johnson, who last year launched a 10-year blitz on county lines drugs gangs after stating that narcotics were causing ‘misery’ and rejected the idea of liberalising the law.
It comes after an announcement in May that middle class ‘coke heads’ found with the drug at football matches face a five-year ban.
It is understood that evidence that will be used to seize passports will include police records of an individual or social media posts.
Thugs convicted of using cocaine at games will face a new extended football banning order, and forced to surrender their passports.
Mr Johnson said at the time: ‘Middle class coke heads should stop kidding themselves, their habit is feeding a war on our streets driving misery and crime across our country and beyond.
‘That’s why we are stepping up our efforts to make sure those who break the law face the full consequences – because taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime.’
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