14-Year Veteran Undercover Cop Exposes Truth About The Drug War: "I Used To Believe I Was Doing Good"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

Yet another police officer is speaking out against the drug war, this time in the United Kingdom. Former officer Neil Woods worked as an undercover drug cop for 14 years, infiltrating some of the most violent gangs in Britain only to learn his tactics were worsening the drug epidemic. Now, he advocates ending the drug war and decriminalizing drugs as he admits his own role in fueling violence and the proliferation of narcotics.

Woods recently spoke with the Independent to make his case and recount the struggles he faced enforcing the British government’s drug war. He was first enlisted by the Home Office to tackle the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1990s, an effort that apparently ‘pleased the crown.’

Woods says the tactics he helped develop only exacerbated drug-related crime.

The first place I was posted was in Derby and it wasn’t actually that difficult,” he says.There were some proper gangsters selling crack and heroin but they weren’t used to the tactic, so although it was a bit scary it wasn’t tremendously difficult because they weren’t expecting it.”

By bringing in new police tactics, however, the dynamics started to change because, as he says, the thing the about undercover work is that it doesn’t take long for criminals to learn the tactics.”

Woods recounted several close-call experiences, including one where he was forced to consume amphetamines to prove his credibility. In another, a dealer could sense Woods was a cop and repeatedly pressed him on it before he used intimidation tactics to neutralize the situation.  Though he escaped unscathed, he often put his life on the line only to find his work was futile.

The ultimate defence against the development of police tactics is an increased use of violence to intimidate the community in which undercover police officers move,he explained, describing the effects of government efforts to curb drug use.

As the drug war raged on, drug gangs became even more extreme, and Woods began to realize he wasn’t helping.

I knew that I couldn’t win early on,” he told the Independent. “But I kept being tempted back into it because I was good at my job. The police departments would say ‘Woodsy, we need you. These gangsters are even nastier that the other ones. They’re burning people to death. They’re using rape as a weapon.”

Ultimately, however, he accepted his inability to make a difference as a cop.

[I]t was because of me that organised crime was getting nasty. I was developing the tactics. I put dealers in prison for over 1000 years and I only disrupted the heroin supply for two hours. Policing can’t affect the demand so policing drugs is completely futile. I can’t emphasise that enough. More people die and it gets more violent. Drugs have got stronger and cheaper and more varied since the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.”

He also described his experience getting to know drug addicts as he worked undercover. Asked what the biggest misconception about them is, he explained:

When I went into policing I thought addicts had made the mistake of trying drugs and had no willpower to stop. Actually, problematic drug users – or at least all the ones I knew – were self medicating. Most of the heroin users I knew were self-medicating for childhood trauma, whether physical or sexual. As an undercover officer I spent a great deal of time getting to know these people. The more I knew someone the more I could manipulate them. They’re like puppets. And they trusted me and saw me as a peer.

Describing one female victim of childhood sexual abuse, he explained, “To the law, she’s a criminal to the law and I as an agent of the state was there to capture people like that. But they were caught in the crossfire between the police and gangs.”

Though Woods doesn’t advocate a “free for all” on drugs, he does believe the war on them must end. The answer is to regulate drugs and take the power away from organised crime,” he argues. “The illicit drugs market is worth £7billion a year. Our communities are ruined by organised crime intimidating populations to protect themselves so we need to regulate the drug supply like we do with alcohol.

He cites Switzerland’s establishment of controlled heroin injection centers in the 1990s as an example, an approach recently adopted in Canada, as well. He also cites Portugal, which has had great success with his policy of decriminalization.

Woods seeks to live by his principles to undo the damage he helped inflict on drug-riddled communities by speaking out against past failed policies.

Woods launched the U.K. version of  Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization of officers who advocate against the war on drugs. There is also an American LEAP that works toward the same goal.

I used to risk my life doing the work because I used to believe I was doing good,” he says.


Now I realise everything I did only caused harm. Now, I feel duty bound to continue taking risks because it’s a matter of principle.

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clade7's picture

Purple shirt?...Yep..another queer crybaby...

macholatte's picture


There would not be a “drug problem” if the Banksters were not profiting from it. The entire “war on drugs” is a global government funded scam. I think we all know it.


JRobby's picture

Exactly! A giant money maker for the BANK / GOVT Cabel.

38BWD22's picture



"Make drugs legal for all, and let Darwin sort them out."

nuubee's picture

Prohibition never works.


For every prohibition you create, you also create an underground. Jello Biafra

There'd never been a more advantageous time to be a criminal in America than during the 13 years of Prohibition. At a stroke, the American government closed down the fifth largest industry in the United States - alcohol production - and just handed it to criminals - a pretty remarkable thing to do. Bill Bryson

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could. William F. Buckley, Jr.

vato poco's picture

ah, former cop Limey McLimerson "speaks out" against the wall of bullshite. how very noble. 

now that's he's got his pension safely in hand, safely guarded by his buddies at the public-employee police union, NOW he's courageously decided to let us know it was all bullshit, and he was ruining people's lives for... a paycheck. (and that almighty solid-gold taxpayer-funded pension) like most cops, he probably thinks of himself as a Brave and Noble Warrior - Better and Much More Important than the little people. 

choke on a dick and DIE, supercop. take 50 or 100 of your copper buddies with you.


brianshell's picture

All the money spent to improve technology has reduced the need for low IQ humans. Even the Chinese are ramping up automation.

So where is the call to improve human intelligence and reduce psychopathy. zzzzzz.

AltRight Girl's picture

Another liberal fucking tosser.

Just take control of your borders and that will stop drugs pouring in.

But then you'll have to take control of your Deep State also, since they finance themselves from drug trade.

Oops, then you'll have to take out the kikes behind the Deep State. Seems that the War on Drugs should be fought on a different battlefield all togheter. No wonder is a losing war.

Better switch targets and look for big nosed people behind the curtains. Then you'll end all wars


Trump Enemy Ex-GOP Billionaire Starts Political Fund for Illegals


Le Cagotini's picture

"she", my hairy brown ass. 'she' is spamking Xythras, and that link goes to malware central. if you click on that link, rumor has it you will mightily wish you hadn't. do try to keep up.

john doeberg's picture

But but, muh shekels.

And my world domination wet dream.


World domination dreams come from small cock complex: chinks, japs, kikes... they all need to compensate for something.

Le Cagotini's picture

pretty sure this is "her", too

83_vf_1100_c's picture

You prefer maybe he falls on his own sword and dies? People are hardwired to avoid looking at their own fuckedupedness (yes it is a word). Assuming he is not out to make a buck, kudos for his public mea culpa. If he writes a book, goes on a paid speaking tour, or takes a paid position may he and his family get murdered by immigrant heroin addicts. jmo


JRobby's picture

Aren't you scheduled to go to a rave where everyone brings assorted weapons to play with?

Lucretius's picture

Yo Vato,

 a rather crappy attitude toward cops, no? Sadly, they are an unfortunate necessity in present society. Ever think of their perspective? Everyone they meet up with is having the worst day EVER!  In my dealings with cops, I try to treat them with respect and courtesy (weather deserved or not), engage with a bit of light casual conversation (avoiding ZH type topics!) and things seem to go well. I recently skated on a 15mph speeding ticket, 70+ in a 55! I didn't lie, had my "papers" in order, and had a clean 10 yr record. I think the Deputy felt pity for me, I was late for an appointment with the Infectious Rectum Service. My local Deputies serve me well... 

Ya, "they" seem to all suffer little Hitler syndrome, just let them feel big and important... stroke their little ego, and you'll be just fine.

Joe Davola's picture

The answer is to regulate drugs and take the power away from organised crime

Oh yeah, once it's gov regulated it will be entirely on the up-and-up!

Uchtdorf's picture

Like the war on crime and the war on poverty, whatever the gov fights we get more of. Maybe the gov should declare war on peace, so we'll enjoy more of it.

What would happen if the two war parties didn't exist in the US? Peace!

Creative_Destruct's picture

Add to that the war on terror.

 "Policing can’t affect the demand so policing drugs is completely futile. I can’t emphasise that enough."

A desperate addict is desperate enough to defy any law and sell-out anyone close to them. Defying that intensity of demand is absolutely futile.

LasVegasDave's picture

More fake news.


tougher sentences and the death penalty would end the war on drugs.


Send them to an island and give them firearms.

moonmac's picture

China executes drug users but they're still fighting the war on drugs, Hitler.

Chris88's picture

Same with Iran, where they literally have villages of heroin addicts despite a death penalty.  

Chris88's picture

You're a leftist nanny state advocate with no ideological difference from Pocahontas.  Go sit in the corner.

HardAssets's picture

Yep and they've been at it for a long time. Just research Brit-India-China- Hong Kong history and the Opium Wars.

The coppers just increase their profits and provide a p.r. narrative.
Like this fellow, most of them don't start off realizing that. They're physical action adrenaline seekers, with maybe a touch of naïveté.

After awhile it just becomes a way to make a living. And the naïveté goes out the window.

Nobody For President's picture

Asset forfiture, baby! and not just the drugs.

jeff montanye's picture

personally i'm ok with queer crybabies.

what i can't stand are people who want to outlaw drugs to protect the children from drug related deaths.

you know what country has zero drug related deaths?  portugal.

it also has zero drug related arrests and incarcerations.  america fuck yeah!


clade7's picture

Me too!  I especially relate to lesbian crybaby squirters!...of which I am one...


Not this sick looking govt employee guy in the purply asst shirt though...

Syrin's picture

Well, the Fuhrer deciminalized drugs basically for the past 6 years, and since then we have record number of addicts, record number of people failing drug screens for jobs, etc.   NOT WORKING.  

Chris88's picture

Yeah, what a change: https://static.prisonpolicy.org/images/pie2016_drug_arrests.jpg

Jackass.  Barry carried on your nanny state crap, he still had the DEA raiding states (now you don't care about the 10th amendment of course) with medicinal marijuana, etc.  Spare us the Reefer Madness crap.

Nobody For President's picture

Wish that chart went back another ten years - I got busted for possession in 19 ought seventy three.

swmnguy's picture

What the hell are you talking about?  I assume you're referring to Obama?  In what unrecognizably twisted sense could you possibly assert that he "decriminalized drugs basically for the past 6 years?"  And, while we're at it, where do you get the stats to say we have a record number of addicts?  Or a record number of people failing drug screens for jobs etc.?

I wouldn't mind a link or two, either, and to some credible website not one of those fever-dream ranters who just make shit up.

If Obama decriminalized drugs, basically, for the past 6 years and I missed it, I need to seriously review where I get my information.  And reconsider Obama.  I hadn't been able to think of anything he'd done I could support, but you may be able to change that for me.

HalinCA's picture

It's not what you think ...  but thanks for the link anyway, some of the stories are very clear on how Portugal has many more problems than you would think ...

SmackDaddy's picture

No sympathy for degenerates, queers, and junkies.

RealityCheque's picture

Heresy! The war on trees must continue at all costs!!

Mike Rotsch's picture

The violence was there well before he showed up.  He's just demoralized because his superiors weren't letting him really kill these people the way they need to be.  He'll lick his wounds for a little while, and then he'll change his mind again.  

Moe Hamhead's picture

"Woodsy, we need you"!

MFL5591's picture

Bush/Clinton Crime families!

Hikikomori's picture

Portugal has had the greatest success of any nation in the past 100 years dealing with drugs and addiction.

Theta_Burn's picture

The Kennedy clan did quite well running booze, then went on to run us..

Legalize all of it and switch the war on drugs to treatment rather than destroying countless lives through incarceration enforcing an agenda..

Crime would practically disappear.


Doubleguns's picture

And taxes on the drugs would pay for the treatment centers.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

And the prisons and jails do a great job as finishing schools for small-time "criminals" who graduate to bigger and worse things. Plus, with a felony record it becomes a bigger long shot that these people can get real jobs once they are released. As usual, "the War on Drugs" - concocted to make crime less rampant - produces the opposite result.

giorgioorwell's picture

Yeah, well Sessions is tripling down on this failed strategy.  

If you are ok with the Trump's administrations links to prison industrial complex and Sessions policies, then you are in now way, shape or form a freedom loving, small government advocate, let alone a Libertarian.  

Duc888's picture



Let me guess, your candidate was fucking perfect, right?

Fiction Peddler's picture

One doesn't have to like any candidate to know this policy is monumentally evil and ignorant.


giorgioorwell's picture

Lol, that's the best response you have to the issue at hand?  

Chris88's picture

Is there a reason you forth at the mouth when soembody points out Donald is a leftist?  Why can't you just stick to discussing the policy?  Do you have some personal and emotional attachment to him?