BRITAIN is not only shocked by the horror of the cold-blooded killing of five-year-old Dillon Hull who was savagely executed by a gunman who pumped two shots into his head in a suburban street in Bolton.

It is also reeling from what this evil murder speaks of.

And that is this country's descent into drug-fuelled gangsterism.

Most of us see it as remote - something belonging to the inner-city ghettos or the sink estates where decadence, drugs and crime prevail.

As long as the feuding criminal drugs gangs shoot and maim each other, we hardly care.

But graphically brought home to us by the merciless slaying of an innocent child in a quiet residential area of an ordinary town is the fact that the murderous, evil drugs underworld and the menace and greed of the dealers and the brutal barons now extends to everyone's doorstep.

The murder of little Dillon Hull has exposed the chilling reality that nowhere is safe.

It tells us that this dreadful gangland execution could have happened here, on the streets of Blackburn or Burnley as much as in suburban Bolton.

And though this brutal exposure of gangsterism's extent and prevalance is frightening, it also ought to be a jolt that wakes up the decent, law-abiding majority to their duty to fight back.

For though, ruefully, we all know how the tentacles of drug-abuse now grip our society - as, with grim regularity, young wasted lives are washed up in the coroners' courts and others are squandered in the mixture of blank days, misery and desperate crime that affects us all - this deed has shown us the monstrous evil of the supply-side...right here in our midst.

We have to do everything we can to defeat it.

And though treatment, rehabilitation and prevention are the weapons that society can wield to combat drug abuse, we must also go for the dealers with a will.

The government is pledging a US-style crackdown on them, appointing a new drugs czar to spearhead the fight.

But this battle needs troops on every street - and they must be us.

We should not be cowed by the dealers, nor turn a blind eye to them.

And the people in East Lancashire have now been armed against them - with the confidential Help Bust A Dealer 0800 555111 hotline that this newspaper has helped to set up.

It has already been so successful that police manning the number have been inundated with calls bringing information about drug dealing and abuse.

The calls are free and received in total confidence - you do not have to give evidence in court or even give your name.

Dillon Hull's death and what it speaks of are your reason to call whenever you see the evil of the drugs gangsters approaching your doorstep.

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