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

Extract from recent interview with @DrugTruth at the @DrugPolicyOrg conference.
See @JSRafaelism I call you brilliant even when you’re not present!
Talking about Drug Wars obviously

My brilliant colleague @BenTwomeyUK is launching an important new campaign today...

We're launching our #LookedAfterMinds campaign on this #WorldChildrensDay - calling for urgent action to support care-experienced young people's mental health.

📑 Read the report:

🎦 Watch Head of Policy @BenTwomeyUK launch it below

#Philippines' #Duterte said today he will ban #ecigs & arrest #vapers. He previously said that #cigarette users "should be exterminated." All this on top of his murderous #drugwar vs #shabu (#methamphetamine) users. #Antivapers need to condemn him fast!

This is great comment by Mick Palmer in Australia. Some sanity after the NSW police strip search and ‘causing fear’ policy. @LEAPAUST @UKLEAP @EuropeLEAP

House Judiciary Chairman @RepJerryNadler invited @NeillFranklin to speak at today's press conference endorsing #TheMoreAct. Read more to learn about tomorrow's historic House vote and why LEAP endorses federal #marijuanalegalization.

And so it goes on...

A group of law abiding young black students in London told me that they experience constant “harassment” by the police now, on their way to college and minding their own business.

Imagine what it will be like with the Boris plan.

My friend and literal rock legend @ItsGrahamParker has recorded a banger of a song, I was privileged to hear this last year, and it’s finally out. Nixon’s Rules, a wonderful commentary on the drug war. #ChristmasNumberOne

What books are requested and allowed in Scottish prisons? Books from @IrvineWelsh and @jk_rowling are okay, but Drug Wars from myself and @JSRafaelism is banned!

Absolutely brilliant that Drug Wars by @wudzee0 and @JSRafaelism is most requested book by people in prison... but terrible that it’s being refused!

WTF! Drug Wars one of the most requested books by prison inmates – but the request denied by @scottishprisons.

This is disgraceful. It's a history book, giving a background to the laws under which many inmates will have been prosecuted.

Let's @ the prison service on this!

Whenever something is banned its value goes up. Unfortunately your royalties won't go up proportionately. Censorship = Prohibition.

@scottishprisons @wudzee0 and I will happily donate copies, and of 'Good Cop, Bad War' if the @scottishprisons will lift the ban

Ridiculous censorship for people who want to learn. Are they worried it's a manual for waging drug wars? @wudzee0 @JSRafaelism

Drug Wars requested by inmates but rejected in Scottish prisons.
A prisoner should have the right to read.. @JSRafaelism

Priti Patel makes a straightforward lie when claiming that government is 'investing' in drug treatment. It is *disinvesting* by cutting the public health grant.

Come along and hear @wudzee0 explain the extraordinary history of the relationship between law and order, crime and the war on drugs on the 26th November at Salon London.

"Strip-searches have increased in the state by 46.8 per cent over the past four years. At music festivals, infield searches are now routine."

While opponents call for 'more evidence' to support drug checking, punitive policing practices continue despite evidence of harms.

As Prince Andrew's attempt to "draw a line" under the Epstein scandal fails so spectacularly, a reminder that the first Private Eye cover devoted to it was way back in 2011 - and almost five full years ago in January 2015 we were joking about how long it had been going on for.

The strip search state. This will spread. Don’t let your State use this as drug policy
@UKLEAP @PoliceForReform @LabourDrugRef @CDPRGUK @GreenDrugPolicy @ronniecowan @ArfonJ