Now, he advocates ending the drug war and decriminalizing drugs as he admits his own role in fueling violence and the proliferation of narcotics.
Woods recently spoke with the Independent to make his case and recount the struggles he faced enforcing the British government's drug war. He was first enlisted by the Home Office to tackle the crack cocaine epidemic in the early 1990s, an effort that apparently 'pleased the crown.'
Woods says the tactics he helped develop only exacerbated drug-related crime.
"The first place I was posted was in Derby and it wasn't actually that difficult," he says. "There were some proper gangsters selling crack and heroin but they weren't used to the tactic, so although it was a bit scary it wasn't tremendously difficult because they weren't expecting it."
By bringing in new police tactics, however, the dynamics started to change because, as he says, "the thing the about undercover work is that it doesn't take long for criminals to learn the tactics."