West Yorkshire Police drug seizures at highest level in decade as serious and organised crime tackled

West Yorkshire Police made its highest number of controlled drug seizures in a decade last year, new figures from the Home Office have revealed.

The force made a total of 6,046 seizures in 2018/19 - the most for any force in England and Wales except the Metropolitan Police.

New figures from the Home Office have revealed how many controlled drug seizures were made by West Yorkshire Police last year. Picture: Tony Johnson

New figures from the Home Office have revealed how many controlled drug seizures were made by West Yorkshire Police last year. Picture: Tony Johnson

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It was the highest amount since 2009/10 when the total stood at 3,666 and represents at 14 per cent increase on 2017/18.

West Yorkshire, which is the fourth largest force in the country by officer numbers, made 1,161 seizures of Class A drugs, 4,613 of Class B and 143 of Class C.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Twiggs, of Protective Services Crime, said: “The force has made a significant investment in tackling serious and organised crime, which includes drug dealing, over the past two years and this is reflected in the increased drug seizures we have made.

“A key part of this investment was the 2018 launch of Programme Precision. This has been a major multi-agency initiative with partners to target organised crime groups and frustrate their ability to operate in West Yorkshire, and it has had an impact on our streets.

“Significant operations as part of Precision so far have included the seizure of £100,000 of Class A drugs and £20,000 of cash in May 2019 during the national County Lines intensification week."

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The most commonly seized drug in West Yorkshire was cannabis, with a total of 4,373 seizures made.

They included 56kg of herbal cannabis, 3kg of cannabis resin, and 21,436 cannabis plants.

Class A drugs cocaine and heroin were the second and third most seized, with 689 and 244 seizures respectively.

The Home Office data also includes separate figures for New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which were known as 'legal highs' until they were banned in 2016.

It shows the most seized NPS by volume was synthetic cannabinoid - typically referred to as spice.

A total of 216 doses were seized during the last year on top of 47 doses of nitrous oxide or 'laughing gas'.

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As the figures were released, Det Chief Supt Twiggs urged members of the public to continue to provide information on drug dealing in their neighbourhoods.

He said: “A number of operations remain ongoing to target those bringing misery to neighbourhoods and we continue to encourage anyone who has information about drug dealing in their communities to contact the independent Crimestoppers charity.

“Reports to Crimestoppers can be made in total anonymity and all intelligence is investigated.”

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers on on 0800 555 111 or make report via its website.