Drug seizures rise across North East

More illegal drugs were seized in the Northumbria Police area last year, according to new figures.

Police seized more drugs in the North East last year
Police seized more drugs in the North East last year

Home Office data shows Northumbria Police made 5,087 drug seizures during 2019-20, an eight per cent increase compared to 4,699 the previous year.

That equated to a rate of 3,475 seizures per million of the population – above the national average of 2,808 per million.

In Northumbria, cannabis was the most commonly seized drug, which was involved in 54% of seizures where the drug type was known.

This was followed by cocaine (15%) and amphetamines (6%).

Drugs could not be classified in 14% of seizures.

Across England and Wales, the number of drug seizures increased for the second consecutive year to 183,000 – a 20% rise compared to 2018-19.

This was mainly driven by an increase in the number of seizures of class B drugs like herbal cannabis and cannabis resin, according to a Home Office report.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin, the NPCC's lead for drugs, said forces have also "substantially increased" seizure of the highest-harm illegal drugs over the past few years.

He added: "These drugs feed a multi-million pound illicit market and are a key driver in other serious crimes.

"Working with the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement agencies, we pursue organised criminals involved in the drugs trade who often commit other major crime including serious violence, human trafficking and modern slavery.

"We also continue to work with public health bodies to seek to decrease user demand for illegal drugs and reduce harm."