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Biggest quantity of cocaine seized by police in almost half a century

The Home Office said it was the largest quantity since records began.

File photo dated 18/09/19 of a mock-up picture of cocaine. (PA)
File photo dated 18/09/19 of a mock-up picture of cocaine. (PA)

By Flora Thompson, PA Home Affairs Correspondent

Police seized 9,645 kg of cocaine in the last year – the largest amount in 46 years.

The amount of the class A drug seized by police in 2018/19 was up 12% or 6,307 kg on the previous period when 3,338 kg was confiscated.

This is the largest quantity in a single year since records began in 1973, the Home Office said.

Most of the cocaine (92%) was seized at the borders.

Officers made a total of 153,136 drug seizures in England and Wales in 2018/19, a 12% increase compared with the previous year (136,439) and the first annual increase since 2011/12 (218,705), the figures showed.

Cannabis was the most commonly seized drug, which was found in 71% of all drug seizures in England and Wales in 2018/19.

More than half (52%) of all seizures of Class A drugs involved cocaine.

Seizures of crack (6,561) rose by 20% since 2017/18 (5,451), the highest number of seizures since 2008/09 (6,623).

There were 54,070 doses of LSD seized in 2018/19, up from the 3,351 the previous year and the highest since 2005 when 1,137,000 doses were recorded.

Between 2017/18 and 2018/19, there was a 55% rise in the quantity of anabolic steroids seized, from 1.7 million to 2.7 million doses.

It is the first time seizures of new psychoactive substances (NPS), formerly known as legal highs which mimic the effects of cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, have been recorded.

There were 2,973 seizures in 2018/19 of NPS, which a 25% rise in seizures from the previous year (2,386).



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