Credit where credit is due. And it is certainly due to Home Secretary Sajid Javid for his determination to crack down on middle-class cocaine users. I had despaired last week when he called for crime to be treated as a public health issue.

Now I found myself cheering.

Mr Javid is quite right. Cocaine use is not a victimless crime, even when it’s city slickers, media trendies or showbiz celebrities who think it’s their right to snort a line whenever they fancy – yes, those very same people who virtue-signal about ‘fair trade and organic food’. They have never really had any excuse not to know about the deadly wake their demand for the drug leaves in its trail. It’s well known that child mules have been moving class A drugs around the country.  The Metro, the Independent and the Guardian were all reporting on this alarming exploitation of children from a year ago.

Reports about the plight of female Jamaican drug mules ending up in our prisons abounded in the first decade of this century.

Anyone still in doubt about the trade’s latest nasty turn – the effective enslavement of young and vulnerable children in the UK – should read Guy Kelly’s detailed account published last month in the Telegraph. Let’s hope that the bankers he spoke to ordering coke to be delivered to their Canary Wharf apartments will at last understand that ‘the young person who turns up may have had that gram in a Kinder Egg capsule up his bottom’.

‘Rosie’ (in Kelly’s article) by her own admission had ‘never really put too much thought into how it got here, just how I can get it’. Kelly described her as still not bothered. Well, it is to be hoped that Mr Javid’s initiative will finally wake her up out of her complacency and into the knowledge of her complicity in a trail of destruction all the way back to Colombia. There is no excuse now to pretend this habit is just harmless fun that has no impact on anyone else.

It does, and on them too. Dr Niall Campbell, a leading addiction consultant, made that very clear on Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday. Describing the UK as being in the midst of a disgraceful epidemic, he spelt out exactly how the drug harms its users. It is, he said, very addictive, very dangerous, and has resulted in a death toll that has quadrupled since 2011. Affecting people physically – ‘their noses, their faces’ – he said it also affects their mental health, caused depression and paranoia and has a huge (negative) effect on relationships.

So well done, Home Secretary and don’t be afraid to stick to your guns.

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