Usage has apparently become so prevalent that there’s even cocaine traces in the capital’s waste water amid a “glut” of the Class A drug.
Metropolitan Police data shows officers seized over a ton of powdered cocaine with an estimated street value of £105 million last year – the most on record.
But experts say the drug, once a preserve of the wealthy and middle classes, is now so common it is viewed as more “socially acceptable” despite links to violent crime, heart attacks, stroke and depression – coupled with its smuggling journey of violence and misery to the UK.
So who’s fuelling London’s cocaine boom, are police struggling to get a grip on the menace – and is it time for a rethink in drugs strategy?
The Leader podcast is joined by Evening Standard crime correspondent Anthony France.
We discuss violent gang links to the drug trade, county lines connections, how smugglers are busted and cocaine’s pervasiveness despite the health risks.