Congratulations to Danny Kushlik of Transform. He brilliantly exposed a vacuous claim by the Serious Crime Agency (SOCA). The report claims that it has increased the wholesale price of cocaine and that street purity has fallen.
"For those of us who have seen entire enforcement agencies come and go, this is more of the same in the propaganda war. Cherry picking statistics is bread and butter for those who have to show success in an ocean of failure. President Obama is on the record in 2005 describing the war on drugs as an "utter failure".
One of the more pertinent policy outcomes that SOCA have notbeen trumpeting is that cocaine use has more than doubled in the last ten years (and is still rising) and part of this explosion has been the disastrous epidemic of crack cocaine use that has emerged over the same period. It is likely that this explosion in demand is driving any recent decrease in cocaine purity rather than supply side enforcement impacts. Clearly there is considerably more cocaine entering the country than their was when SOCA was set up. And this has nothing to do with how effectively SOCA do their duties; the economics of a totally unregulated multi-billion pound market (in which demand is high and rising) controlled by flexible, cunning and often violent criminal profiteers make SOCAs task one that is doomed from the outset.