A FORMER undercover police detective who for 14 years fought the war on drugs is now campaigning for drugs to be regulated.

Neil Woods, who lives in north Herefordshire, is the chairman of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)- a collective who would like to remove the dependency of addicts on gangsters by reforming the country's drug laws.

He has spoken to author JS Rafaeli about his time working undercover to "lift the lid on the bleak reality of the current drug laws."

This has been made into a book Good Cop, Bad War, which is being serialised in the Mail on Sunday.

Mr Woods, who moved to the county in 2012, said: "The war on drugs doesn't achieve what it sets out to achieve. It doesn't reduce the demand for drugs.

"It highlights in the book the vast sums of money made by making drugs illegal- it is creating an illicit trade."

The book focuses on the times he worked undercover in various cities including Nottingham and Manchester.

Mr Woods said: "Although I have had a samurai sword to my neck, a knife sticking in my belly, to my groin, spat at, all of these things happen to me, the most intense memories I had were the people I had manipulated and put in danger and people the state should have been helping and not manipulating."

He said his work caused great harm to people as gangs would harm people and their families who were found to be involved or suspected to be working with undercover police.

He said: "The most important tactic organised crime has is the use of fear and intimidation that the police cannot use."

He joined the police in Derby in 1989 and four years later started undercover work.

And at first he enjoyed it. He said: "I was fighting a good fight, catching the bad guys."

But by 2003 he had become disillusioned.

He said it was while working in Nottingham trying to infiltrate the Colin Gunn group that he realised the level of corruption.

Two of the local police were off sick so two more were brought in.

Mr Woods said: "I took an instant dislike to one. I went to my boss and said I am not happy with this guy and not happy with him knowing what I am doing. He excluded him.

"It turned out my job led to the another job which led to the drug empire collapsing. The person I took a dislike to was a spy for Colin Gunn and paid by Gunn to join the police. He was paid £2,000 a month on top of the police wage. He had been seven years in the job."

He said drugs are harmful but said the UK is excellent at regulation.

Mr Woods, who left undercover work in 2011 to work for LEAP, said: "We are hoping to get drugs under control by regulating them and taking the financial power of the supply away from the organised crime. We will get rid of 90 percent of it overnight."

To find out more go to www.ukleap.org.