Britain has been branded the “cocaine capital of Europe” as it is estimated that usage has almost quadrupled in less than a decade. In 2011, the amount of cocaine trafficked into the country was 30 tonnes. Last year, Britons took 117 tonnes of the substance. It is believed that while the Class A drug has traditionally been seen as ‘middle class’, its actual use is far more widespread. Lawrence Gibbons, head of drugs threat at the National Crime Agency, said: “The UK is the biggest user of powder cocaine in Europe. “A lot of the consignments we see coming into Europe — through Spain, Belgium or the Netherlands mainly — a significant proportion is destined for the UK.” He added: “There has to be education and treatment — people need to understand the harm that is done to families, loved ones, children. “And users should learn about the reality of a trade that is run by criminal gangs who use guns, violence, trafficking and debt bondage.”