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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October 2003, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Crack UK
Crack cocaine
Crack UK was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 26 October, 2003 at 2215 GMT.

Six years ago, crack cocaine dealers in the West Midlands realised that the crack trade in the cities where they operated had reached saturation point.

Prices were falling and competition was getting intense. And in the crack cocaine a business competitor often comes with a gun.

So, they made a strategic marketing decision. They looked around for a new outlet, somewhere they could target untapped young markets, with no opposition, and where they could command much higher prices.

The town they settled upon, and moved into, was hundreds of miles away, in an area known for its tranquillity, beauty and affluence. Now, it also has a burgeoning crack cocaine problem.

This was one of the earliest cases of what is now a frightening national pattern being repeated in affluent towns - and even villages - throughout the UK. Local police forces are struggling, playing catch up to experienced and violent criminals who are making a killing,

This Panorama investigation looks into the proliferation of the crack cocaine trade, how quickly it is spreading and how the police are struggling to cope.

The programme also hears the desperate stories of young people and their families whose lives were ruined when the crack dealers came to their town.

Production team:
Reporter: Shelley Jofre
Producer: Murdoch Rodgers
Deputy Editors: Andy Bell, Sam Collyns
Editor: Mike Robinson

Crack UK
10 Oct 03 |  Panorama
Crack dealers targeting towns
24 Oct 03 |  Panorama
Your comments
24 Oct 03 |  Panorama

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