High level of drug seizures in North-East

CLEVELAND Police has seized the largest amounts of heroin and cocaine of any force in North-East England per head of population.

The seizures are the biggest – relative to population – in an area taking in the Cleveland, Durham, Northumbria and Cumbria forces.

Police have also seized comparatively huge hauls of the highly addictive and controversial sleeping pills nicknamed ‘Benzos’ which are said to be the new thrill-seeking drug of choice for many people.

Benzodiazepine is a depressant prescribed by doctors to help traumatised patients relax.

Users can become completely dependent within weeks and while it is only available from GPs it is being sold on the streets as a low-level replacement for heroin addicts unable to get methadone.

Police bosses say the huge seizures show that positive policing is having an effect on all types of drugs across the force area including Hartlepool.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: “This series of seizures is positive news as it shows that our pro-active drugs operation across the force is working and we are removing not only class A drugs but other drugs from the streets.

“These figures simply show the numbers of particular drug types seized by officers and should not be mistaken as a reflection of the levels of drugs on the streets.”

The figures, per million of population, are taken from the Police Drugs Seizure Statistics, published by the Home Office.