British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control, a United Nations drugs chief said yesterday. Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said there was “a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities” in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. The development of “no-go areas” was being fuelled by threats such as social inequality, migration and celebrities normalising drug abuse, he warned. Helping marginalised communities with drugs problems “must be a priority”, he said. “We are looking at social cohesion, the social disintegration and illegal drugs. “In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas. “Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas.” Prof 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. The INCB’s annual report for 2011 found persistent social inequality, migration, emerging cultures of excess and a shift in traditional values were some of the key threats to social cohesion. As the gap between rich and poor widens, and “faced with a future with limited opportunities, individuals within these communities may increasingly become disengaged from the wider society and become involved in a range of personally and socially harmful behaviours, including drug abuse and drug dealing,” it said.