Home Secretary Priti Patel has been the target of a lot of criticism during her tenure, with her latest plans continuing a steady stream of outrage at her decision-making.
She recently announced a crackdown aimed at “middle-class drug use” with a new three-strike policy. The plan could see recreational drug users banned from UK venues. They also face passport confiscation, stopping them from leaving the country.
Offenders could be made to wear an electronic drug monitoring tag or be forced to take random drug tests. Cocaine and canabis users could also face drug courses and hefty fines too.
“In line with our strategy to tackle the harmful consequences of drugs, we aim to reverse the rising trend of substance use in society, to protect the public from the harm and violence of drug misuse,” Patel said.
In reaction to the newly proposed plans, NTIA CEO Michael Kill has issued a formal response: “I am not sure the Home Secretary is completely aware, but the practice of banning people from licensed premises for drug possession or use has been in place for decades. Police forces and local authorities across the country promote a zero tolerance drug policy within licensed premises on a localised basis.”
“Sadly, this has led to displacement, where drug use takes places in uncontrolled environments, leading to further issues around anti-social behaviour and compromising people’s well being and safety without the infrastructure or support.”
“The industry has been exploring different approaches to drugs within society, the work being done by The Loop and many other organisations, around information sharing, testing and intelligence being the start.”
“The work being done at festivals and events in the Netherlands, for example, shows a different approach. It is clear that drugs in society will not be stopped using the suggested methods laid out by the Home Secretary, which in many instances already exist in part on a local level.”
In December, now ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a similar plan to punish class A drug users by confiscating passports and driver’s licenses with a focus on “wealthy users” and “gangs behind the county lines phenomena”.
It’s glaringly apparent the government have their sights set on tackling the nightlife industry in any way possible. Throughout the pandemic, they left the industry hanging on by a thread due to lack of adequate financial support. Now it seems they are targeting consumers in an attempt to ostracise club culture in the UK as much as possible.