Police Scotland figures show increase in heroin, ecstasy and cannabis seizures over 2017/18

Official Statistics on drug seizures made by Police Scotland for 2017/18 have been published.

The Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics 2017-18 published by the Scottish Government show that, overall, there were 1,600 seizures last year compared with the previous year’s figure of 1,562.

The figures show that the amount of heroin seized by police was more than double that recovered the previous year. The 118kg recovered in 2017/2018 was the highest amount seized in four years – more than twice the 54.1kg confiscated the previous year.

Police Scotland also seized more than 25,000 ecstasy-type tablets, almost three times the previous year’s total.

The amount of cannabis recovered was up last year, however, cocaine seizures were down from 120.3kg in 2016/17 to 74.4kg.

The amount of diazepam and psychoactive drugs – known as benzodiazepines – seized was down from more than two million tablets to 320,000.

The figures also show a fall in the number of drug possession crimes to the lowest level for four years.

The report states that the quantity of drugs seized could fluctuate considerably each year and did not necessarily move in line with the number of seizures made.

Ch Supt John McKenzie, who leads Safer Communities Scotland, said: “We recognise the devastating impact that drugs have on our communities and we are committed to tackling the sale and supply of controlled drugs.

“We will continue to pro-actively target those who are responsible for the manufacturing, importation, sale and distribution of illicit substances.”

He added: “Enforcement alone will not solve the problem and we recognise the value of prevention and partnership engagement to tackle stigma and influence behaviour.

“By working closely with partners, we can safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities and make Scotland a safer place.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, said: “Our new alcohol and drugs strategy will strengthen existing measures to support those vulnerable to drug and alcohol harm, while applying the full force of the law to hit the dealers who cause misery that blights the lives of so many.

“Drug enforcement, including seizures, remains a key part of Police Scotland activity, supported by the Scottish government’s commitment to protecting the police resource budget in every year of this parliament – a boost of £100m by 2021.”

The ‘Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics’ annual statistical bulletin series forms part of a series of bulletins produced by the Scottish Government on the criminal justice system which can be found here.

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