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“The first casualty of any war is the truth, and the War on Drugs is no exception.”

-Neil Woods


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Neil is a former UK police officer and undercover drugs operative. Now he’s an active member of the international drug policy reform movement.

He worked undercover between 1993 and 2007 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 empowers the very worst elements in society. 


Neil is a board member of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) in the USA, and in the U.K. (LEAP UK).


LEAP is a growing international organisation that advocates an evidence based drug policy and related criminal justice reforms. The group is made up entirely of serving and former police and other law enforcement. 

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Our mission at LEAP (Law Enforcement Action Partnership) is to reduce the multitude of harmful consequences resulting from our current drug policies and to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime and addiction. We’re advocates for evidence based policies with a public health focus for drugs and mental health.


Neil Woods was the first and best of his kind – an undercover cop whose brief was to infiltrate Britain’s most dangerous drug gangs, befriending the foot soldiers before taking on their gangster bosses.

Starting out in the early 90s and making the rules up as he went, Neil was at the forefront of police surveillance. He quickly earned a name as the most successful operative of his time and his expertise was called upon by drugs squads around the country to tackle an ever growing problem.

But after years on the streets, spending time with the vulnerable users at the bottom of the chain, Neil began to question the seemingly futile war he was risking both his life and sanity for. What if the real enemy wasn’t who he thought?

Good Cop, Bad War is an intense account of the true effects of the War on drugs and a gripping insight into the high pressure world of British undercover policing.

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Ever wondered what really underpins international drug policy?  Ex-undercover drugs cop and chairman of LEAP UK, Neil Woods, opens up about the ins and outs of the profession.


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