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Neil Woods spent fourteen years (1993-2007) infiltrating drug gangs as an undercover policeman – befriending and gaining the trust of some of the most violent, unpredictable criminals in Britain.
With co-author JS Rafaeli, Neil's first book Good Cop, Bad War (Ebury Press) was a best-seller that recounted his life working undercover in towns and cities across England, infiltrating street level user scenes and gaining access to criminal networks. Neil's undercover work was successful (he even trained other officers), but he slowly came to the realisation that not only was his work taking a personal toll, but began to believe drugs policing was damaging some of the most vulnerable members of society, and having little impact on the activities of some of the most serious criminals. Neil eventually left the police force, and whilst supportive of policing in general, now campaigns for drug policy reform, arguing that current approaches are failing to reduce harm.
Neil's new book Drug Wars, co-authored again with JS Rafaeli, develops the themes first outlined in Good Cop but takes a wider look at why we have the drug policy that we do, and what can be done to make it better for those affected by drug-related harm.
The evening will feature Neil and JS talking about their new book, recounting some of the stories included, as well as celebrating the role of Merseyside activists and services in developing drug harm reduction. They will also explore how personal stories can influence drug policy, and hope to engage with the audience in discussion and debate about where things should go next.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, will be resuming his Question Time tour of the six boroughs of the Liverpool City Region in Sefton this October. It will be an opportunity for you to ask Steve about the issues that matter to you.
The next in the series will be held at Formby High School on Monday, 8 October.
LivWiSE is delighted to welcome Patricia Fara to talk about her new book 'A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War' which unearths the forgotten female pioneering suffragists of World War I who bravely changed women's roles in the war and paved the way for today's female scientists.
Many extraordinary female scientists, doctors, and engineers tasted independence and responsibility for the first time during the First World War. How did this happen? Patricia Fara reveals how suffragists, such as Virginia Woolf's sister-in-law, Ray Strachey, had already aligned themselves with scientific and technological progress, and that during the dark years of war they mobilized women to enter conventionally male domains such as science and medicine. Fara tells the stories of women such as: mental health pioneer Isabel Emslie, chemist Martha Whiteley, a co-inventor of tear gas, and botanist Helen Gwynne Vaughan. Women were now carrying out vital research in many aspects of science, but could it last?
Though suffragist Millicent Fawcett declared triumphantly that 'the war revolutionised the industrial position of women. It found them serfs, and left them free', the outcome was very different.
Fara examines how the bravery of these pioneer women scientists paved the way for today's women scientists.
Liverpool Mental Health Consortium presents Liverpool Mental Health Festival 2018 Film Night.
Main feature: Adult Life Skills (2016).
Anna is stuck: she’s approaching 30, living like a hermit in her mum’s garden shed and wondering why the suffragettes ever bothered. She spends her days making short films with her endlessly bickering thumbs.
However, when her school friend comes to visit, Anna’s self-imposed isolation becomes impossible to maintain. Soon she is entangled with a troubled 8-year-old boy obsessed with Westerns, and the local estate agent whose awkward interpersonal skills continually undermine his attempts to seduce her.
Directed by Rachel Tunnard, and starring Jodie Whittaker (One Day, Broadchurch, Dr Who), Alice Lowe (Prevenge, Sightseers), and Brett Goldstein (ITV’s Uncle, Drifters), Adult Life Skills is a distinctly eccentric, witty and moving British triumph.