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

#ff and new @EuropeLEAP people to follow include the brilliant @jimber81 @abhoogenboom @A_vdPlas #FollowFriday

We need this approach back everywhere. Apart from it being the best way to look after people who use drugs problematically it’s also the only way we can stop child exploitation. Policing will not stop County Lines

Thanks to @Hollie_Savannah for this coverage of the @anyoneschild event at Parliament on 28th June. It was a great day! I’m interviewed alongside some brilliant people.
@UKLEAP @EuropeLEAP @PoliceForReform

The so-called 'war on drugs' is failing - we need to take a public health approach. I'm happy to work with other MPs to bring about much-needed change in law and people's lives, as I said at @anyoneschild's Parliamentary lobby

And outside Parliament, the @anyoneschild campaign had planted 4,517 flowers for each life lost to the drug war in 2020. Nice to be able to take a pic of two of my personal heroes, @Feargal_Sharkey and @GreenJennyJones.

The debate has moved on from ‘if’ to *how. And this is how. A great report on adult use regulation from @AugurAssociate
@EuropeLEAP are mentioned because police voices were consulted. All stakeholders need to be considered. Well done this team!

A brilliant report for adult use cannabis regulation from Augur!

On our way to UK Parliament for a Day of Action TODAY with @anyoneschild @TransformDrugs @Release_drugs @UKLEAP to demand drug polcies that place human rights, social justice and enviromental protection at the centre!

That #SupportDontPunish people and the planet!

We give all our support and respect to today’s global day of action. Today is #SupportDontPunish and we never fail to be humbled by the millions of people and their stories who deserve so much better from our global drug polices. @SDPcampaign

We are back tomorrow! Meet @anyoneschild for a day of action with @TransformDrugs @UKLEAP @PeteKrykant_OPC and in solidarity with @SDPcampaign details in image. @HealthPoverty @wudzee0 @drcarlhart @HRInews @Release_drugs @GFZampini @SSchlossenberg @naha_gargi @saran_disha

Explaining Rotterdam Harbourpolice that prohibition is the mother of crime. #supportdontpunish #leapeu

Today I asked the @BBCAnyQuestions panel whether we should legalise and regulate drug use.

No one disagreed.

#LegalRegulation is a sensible policy that will save lives, cut crime and will make huge financial savings for the treasury.

Increasingly fans are expressing their concerns about their club being associated with betting. They acknowledge the draw of the money but feel their shirt is tarnished by the logos.

While the @GOVUK dither, the harm being done by gambling is increasing year in year out.

#LEAP #FF @UKLEAP @PoliceForReform @EuropeLEAP @LEAPAUST @NeillFranklin @dianemgoldstein @jackacole @AnnieMachon @JasonTron @wudzee0 @DarrelRhyne @RaefordD @leighmaddox @stevefx @IngeFryklund @Careledwards @beccy6161 @LeapScotland @leapdeutschland @FranceLeap

@vocnederland @wudzee0 @EuropeLEAP @PoliceForReform @psychotropinst @CamilD @5742Days @A_vdPlas @InfoPCN @Sneller @Nieuwsuur Amsterdam gave me a moment that I will never forget. A spectator asked: How many police officers are in the room? I counted at least 12 arms raised. To all of them, thank you.

Not been able to drink cos of antibiotics. It’s a mentally exhausting week and today I’m allowed!
I know it’s an unhealthy drug but I do love it. Lovely cold beer. And if it was prohibited I’d find a way to get it. Oh yes

Public health and law enforcement are moving closer together to support the upstream determinants of individual and societal well-being.

Read how: @LEPH2022 @PolicingInsight @WFPHA_FMASP #MOI2022

Kersverse CNNBS column van @vocnederland voorzitter Derrick Bergman:
Politie tegen drugsoorlog: de lancering van LEAP Nederland

Had a great day with the police showing us around how they catch kilos of cocaine in the Rotterdam harbor, and interesting discussions on how little effect that has on the drug market.

We all agreed policies should change. Let's proceed the discussion on how. #leapeu #drugpolicy