London: A top UN official has asked people not to visit certain areas of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham as those were places where the law was losing the battle against drug traffickers and organised crime.
Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said the situations in the three cities were comparable to large parts of Brazil and Mexico ruled by drug cartels.
The cities were trapped in "a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities", Ghodse was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
He said the development of such areas was being fuelled by threats like social inequality and migration.
Helping marginalised communities with drugs problems "must be a priority", he said.
"In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which become no-go areas. Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas," he said.
"Examples are in Brazil, Mexico, in the US... in the UK, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and therefore it is no good to have only law enforcement, which always shows it does not succeed," he said.
Ghodse called for such communities to be offered drug abuse prevention programmes, treatment and rehabilitation services, and the same levels of educational, employment and recreational opportunities as in the wider society.
"Youth of these communities must have similar chances to those in the wide society and have a right to be protected from drug abuse and drug dependence."
First Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 22:34