Neil Woods

Neil Woods

Author, Journalist

Neil Woods spent fourteen years (1993-2007) infiltrating drug gangs as an undercover policeman – befriending and gaining the trust of some of the most violent, unpredictable criminals in Britain. With the insight that can only come from having fought on its front lines, Neil came to see the true futility of the War on Drugs – that it demonises those who need help, and only empowers the very worst elements in society. Neil is now a board member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a pro-legalisation advocacy group formed exclusively of ex-law enforcement officials, and he also starred on Channel 4’s Drugs Live.

Neil’s memoir, Good Cop, Bad War: My Double Life Undercover with the Drug Gangs, co-written with JS Rafaeli, was published by Ebury (Random House) in 2016.

His follow-up, A Very British War will be published by Ebury in 2018.

Neil appeared in BBC 3’s Drugs Map of Britain, where he discussed his time undercover and how it informed his current approach to drug legislation. Various publications, including the Guardian, The Mirror and Huffington Post have also featured his work.

Listen to his SOAP podcast here or hear him talk about Writing an End to the War or Drugs here.

Neil Woods @wudzee0

Teens in care 'abandoned to crime gangs'

@katierazz reports on 16 and 17 year olds living in unregistered accommodation while supposedly 'under the care of the state', making them easy targets for recruitment by OCG drug gangs.

Cocaine use doubles in Britain in five years and purity levels at record high - @GlobalDrugSurvy

Drugs are not going away. We need UK laws that recognise and respond to this reality. Criminalising people for drugs is a massive, harmful waste of time.

When policies fail we must turn to the people who hold power in speaking their truth. #SpeakOut #drugpolicyreform @anyoneschild @TransformDrugs

War on drugs is warped war on vulnerable people, their families and communities

My milkshake brings all the boys to Farage
Police are like it's better indoors
Damn right it's better indoors
If you throw it, then they'll have to charge

This is a good blog from my mate @KnaikMau with a good reference to @LEAD_Bureau

@UKLEAP @wudzee0 One of the main armoury suppliers to U.K. OCGs was also an Informant on Drug Traffickers & thus protected by his handlers. A weapon he supplied killed a Police Officer in South London. #DrugWars have a lot to answer for.

UK #police seize drugs & weapons every single day of the week but we have not reduced the illicit market at all. Communities are in as much danger today as they where yesterday. The #WarOnDrugs created this danger. Only #DrugLawReform can end it.

A conversation about pop-up overdose prevention sites & safe drug supply, this podcast is very enlightening!

Saving Lives: Harm Reduction & Overdose Prevention Sites with Marilou Gangon


Absolutely. The road traffic change in 2015 was a travesty. It was a cynical attack on people who use different drugs. The principle of impairment has rightfully been at the core of our driving law and that principle must be returned to. *Impaired* people should be prosecuted

Brilliant commentary from Neil Woods, LEAP UK's chairman and a board member for LEAP US.

"No matter how many bags of drugs are piled on the table, the drug supply is...

'Police Corruption and Drug Cartels'
Thursday, 23rd May

Is corruption as wide reaching as #LineOfDuty suggests? Should we be worried?

In this talk @wudzee0 explains the reality of undercover policing and its inevitable connection to #corruption.


Good. @wudzee0 & colleague tell it like it is.
“No matter how much drugs being seized the supply is never interrupted. Ever. Everyone knows. We can’t punish our way out of this”.

Drug War Photo-Op Policing Is a Betrayal of Law Enforcement’s Principles

"It is an exact negative image of what law enforcement should look like." Because these hyped busts accomplish nothing good, only bad, say the authors (and everyone else besides the cops doing their traditional budget-boosting dance).

#Giantrobot #Trump tweeting on toilet while shouting 'I'm a very stable genius' shipped to UK for protests - brilliant better than the orange blimp ballon! ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ hopefully will see it. #NotWelcome in the #UK