No-Go Britain; Fury as UN Drugs Chief Compares Parts of Inner-City UK to the Terrifying Murder and Drugs Capitals of Mexico and Brazil
Byline: Jack Doyle Home Affairs Correspondent
BRITISH cities have lawless 'no-go areas' comparable with the most dangerous parts of Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., according to a United Nations drugs chief.
Professor Hamid Ghodse claimed Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester are on a par with the drug and murder capitals of the world.
The president of the International Narcotics Control Board said the police had lost control of parts of these cities, and drugs gangs had taken over.
But his comments caused fury from police and community leaders.
Tony Lloyd, Labour MP for Manchester Central, said: 'I walk the streets of Manchester on a regular basis. It is not the same as Bogota, it is not the same as Mexico City.
'He is either ignorant or stupid. If he has surveyed my city from the decadence of a five-star hotel room then he may well draw those conclusions.
'If he had come out with me on the streets he would see that people are living happily and peacefully.'
Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson said: 'Anyone who knows Liverpool will not recognise the city from the way in which this report is being interpreted.
The comparisons are fanciful and it is absurd to say any part of the city is a no-go area.'
Ahead of the publication of the INCB's annual report on drugs around the world, Professor Ghodse said urgent action was needed because parts
of the UK were experiencing 'social disintegration'.
The Iranian-born doctor claimed that Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester were experiencing 'a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities'.
'In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas,' he went on.
'Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas.
'Examples are in Brazil, Mexico, in the United States, in the UK, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and therefore it is no good to have only law enforcement, which always shows it does not succeed.
'It is crucial that the needs of communities experiencing social disintegration are urgently tackled before the tipping point is reached, beyond which effective action becomes impossible.
'The consequences of failure are too high for society and should be avoided at all cost.'
His comments were undermined by statistics showing the wildly differing crime rates between cities in England and South America. …