Middle-class people who take cocaine at parties need to realise that their habit is linked to young people being killed on the streets of London, Sadiq Khan has warned.
The Mayor of London said some of the children being attacked with knives are involved with drugs gangs and other criminals. “We need to make sure Londoners realise there is no such thing as a victimless crime”, he said.
Khan’s concerns have been echoed by the head of the Metropolitan Police, who said there is “misery” throughout the drugs chain.
Speaking on LBC radio, Khan said more work was needed to deal with both the users and the suppliers of drugs.
“We have got to make sure we take action among those young people who are involved in criminal gangs as well as those who are buying” drugs at so-called middle-class parties.
“There are some Londoners who think it is a victimless crime”.
He added: “There is a definite link, which has been shown to me by the police, of drugs and criminal gangs and knife crime and crime going up.”
Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, also challenged those who say they are concerned about the environment, “but think there is no harm in taking a bit of cocaine”.
“Well, there is; there’s misery throughout the supply chain.”
Cocaine is a class A drug which carries a penalty of up to life in prison for supply, and up to seven years behind bars for possession.
In 2016, a report found young people in the UK consume more cocaine than other countries in Europe.
The European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report found that 4.2 per cent of 15 to 34-year-olds in the UK used cocaine in 2014.
The average for this group in European Union countries was just 1.9 per cent.