Cocaine seizures rise to 11-year high

Updated: 

The amount of cocaine seized by police and the Border Force has surged to the highest level in more than a decade, new figures show.

Authorities confiscated 9,321lb (4,228kg) of the class A drug in England and Wales in 2015/16.

It was a rise of a quarter compared with the previous year and the largest quantity since 2004, a Home Office report said. The jump was driven by a 31% increase in the quantity of cocaine seized by Border Force officials.

There was also a sharp increase in the amount of herbal cannabis recovered, doubling from 33,300lb (15,105kg) to 67,226lb (30,493kg) - the highest level since 2008/09.

The report said the large increase was down to a 159% rise in Border Force seizures.

Overall, the number of drug seizures plunged by just over a tenth to 148,553 in 2015/16 - the fourth consecutive annual fall. Seizures of cannabis and cocaine fell by 12% and 1% respectively, the figures showed.

The report said the total number of drug seizures each year is "highly correlated" with the number of drug offences recorded by police.

In 2015/16, there was a 13% fall in drug offences logged by forces, with the number dropping by 39% since a peak seen in 2008/09.