Dorset Police heroin seizures hit national high

Dorset Police heroin seizures hit national high

Published by George Sharpe at 2:05pm 27th January 2020.

Dorset Police have carried out more heroin seizures per person than any other county in England and Wales.

Dorset Police made 232 seizures of heroin in 2018-19, according to figures released by the Home Office.

At  300 seizures per million residents, it was the highest rate for any police force in England and Wales. 

Heroin is categorised as a Class A drug, which are considered to be the most harmful.

About 43 offenders were convicted in Dorset for not informing police about a change in their circumstances.
Dorset Police seized more heroin per million people than any other county

Possession carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison plus an unlimited fine, while those caught supplying it face life in prison. 

It was the second most commonly seized Class A drug across England and Wales – having held the top spot before 2006.

Law enforcement agencies confiscated 8,444 hauls of heroin in 2018-19, a 13% increase compared to the previous year.

Police Car

Overall, Dorset Police recorded 2,097 drug seizures during the year, an increase of 5%, and the second consecutive rise.

The figures mean there were 2,715 seizures for every million residents, higher than the rate of 2,432 per million across England and Wales.

The most frequently seized drug was cannabis (1,393) followed by cocaine (233).

Across England and Wales, the number of drug seizures increased for the first time since 2011-12.

Police and border forces recorded 153,000 seizures, an increase of more than 16,000 in one year, but still far lower than the peak of 241,000 seen in 2008-09.

Labour MP Jeff Smith, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for drug policy reform, said the figures were "little reason to celebrate".

"The illicit drugs market is resilient to the extent that a major bust is only likely to disrupt supply for a matter of hours," he said.

"With UK drugs-related death figures the highest on record, the Government’s approach to drugs policy is doing nothing to avert the public health crisis we face.

"The real priority should be to focus on education and to bring in harm-reduction measures that will save lives."

Simon Kempton, operational policing lead for the Police Federation, said the figures demonstrate "the importance of all law enforcement agencies in the UK working in a joined up way" to tackle organised crime.

He added:

"These figures also reflect the huge amount of drugs which are available, as both prices and purity of drugs available on the street don’t seem to have been affected. 

"This is a concern which underlines how there is a proliferation of illicit drugs on the streets of the UK, all of which goes to fund serious organised crime."