‘The Sunday Times’ discovers traces of the illegal drug in 11 of the twelve services through which a reactive cloth passed
The inspection of twelve bathrooms in the buildings that house the two houses of the British Parliament, its committees, offices of deputies and lords, work areas for journalists, bars and restaurants, … has revealed traces of cocaine in all but one, as revealed this Sunday by The Sunday Times. The publication coincides with a change in government policy on the use of illegal drugs.
The newspaper does not explain who ordered the inspection, which appears to be the product of his collaboration with the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle. The twelve restrooms include those reserved for men and women in the hallway that begins behind the president’s seat. In that corridor is the Prime Minister’s office in Parliament.
The list of twelve, which does not point to the only one who did not give a blue color when wipes moistened with a cocaine reagent were passed, includes services for both sexes and for people with disabilities, bathrooms adjoining the offices of Labor deputies or of a conservative minister and the unisex of the gallery of the press and of a bar of the lords; distributed in the three buildings that house them.
The Police would have intervened in the last year in 17 drug-related crimes “in Parliament or its surroundings”, according to the ‘Times’, which also reports that, a month ago, there was a scent of cannabis in the street, among Portcullis House, which houses offices and meeting rooms, and number 1 of Parliament Square, which is an access to the Palace of Westminster.
The current prime minister, Boris Johnson, has admitted that he tried cocaine when he was in college, although he did not snort it well and it had no effect on him either. He also regularly smoked cannabis when he was younger. Other politicians of his generation have refused to discuss his possible use of illegal drugs.
According to the latest official figures, 9.4% of adults in England and Wales between the ages of 16 and 59 (3.2 million people) took between March 2019 and 2020 a Class A drug – cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone and crystal – and of them 1.3 million were between 16 and 24 years old. Cannabis was promoted by Theresa May, when she was Minister of the Interior, from class C to B, along with amphetamine.
About 20,000 people have passes to enter, through contact with an electronic card, the Parliament buildings. The Secretary of State for Police, Kit Malthouse, said on LBC radio that he would be “surprised” if in a space occupied daily by such a number of people “there would not be someone taking drugs at some point”.
The president of the Commons, Hoyle, has said that the finding is “deeply worrying” and that of the Administration committee, Charles Walker, who oversees the management of parliamentary buildings, has advanced that, in the same way that trained dogs are used For explosives detection, others specializing in drugs may now be introduced.
The news created context for the announcement by the Government, this Monday, of a substantial change in the approach to the prosecution of drugs. Some of the evidence that half of the robberies and homicides are drug related. His new priority is curing the 300,000 heroin and crack addicts of addiction. He also wants to punish those who consume for entertainment.
Although consumption is stable, the number of poisoning deaths has risen in recent years in England and Wales. In Scotland, the statistics give the highest results in the country. Cocaine would claim many deaths, but half would be due to opiates. The government now wants to tackle the problem with a hybrid approach of persuasion and repression.
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