THE HAMPSHIRE police commissioner has praised the Prime Minister for his vow to crackdown on drug-running crime gangs.

Boris Johnson has pledged to smash 2,000 drugs gangs in a £300 million drive to rid the country’s streets of illegal narcotics.

The Government is to set out its 10-year drugs strategy for England and Wales, with a police crackdown to cut off the supply of class A drugs by city-based crime rings to the surrounding county areas.

Commenting on the announcement, the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said “I welcome the Prime Minister’s determination to tackle class A and all drug use across the country. Gang leaders of approximately 2,000 county lines are c of people who take drugs casually or regularly.

She added: “The exploitation of young people and children in the supply and distribution of drugs is heartbreaking and must stop. I am committed to doing all I can to ensure Hampshire Constabulary detect and bring to justice the most dangerous of criminals in our communities and those that cause the most harm.”

The Home Office has said there are 300,000 heroin and crack addicts in England who are responsible for nearly half of acquisitive crime, including burglary and robbery, while drugs drive nearly half of all homicides.

The total cost to society is estimated at nearly £20 billion a year.

Among the measures in the strategy is an expansion of drug testing on arrest, with police encouraged to direct individuals who test positive towards treatment or other relevant interventions.

This could include attendance at drug awareness courses with criminal sanctions for those who continue to use.

Judges will be given the power to order drugs tests on offenders serving community sentences for drugs-related crimes, with the prospect of jail if they test positive.

The deterrent and preventative measures will run alongside an aggressive campaign aimed at the drugs gangs, with a commitment to dismantle over 2,000 county lines over the next three years involving thousands more arrests.

Police will carry out 6,400 “disruptions” against the activities of organised criminals, targeting the road and rail networks they use while protecting vulnerable young people exploited by the gangs to run drugs for them.