Drug seizures fall across the Northamptonshire

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The number of drugs seizures and cannabis factory closures in Northamptonshire fell by 12 per cent last year, new figures have revealed.

The statistics, which were released by the Home Office, revealed 1,882 drugs seizures were made across the county in the last 12 months. In comparison, 2,147 seizures were made between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011.

Across the county, the amount of cocaine and ecstasy did increase, while police still discovered 15,000 cannabis plants.

In the last 12 months the amount of heroin taken off the streets fell slightly, by one kilogram. The biggest fall, however, was the amount of herbal cannabis seizured. In 2010/11, 
1.3 tonnes were destroyed, compared to 277kg this year.

The figures came after Northamptonshire Police launched Operation Guardian three years ago to tackle burglars, car thieves and drug dealers. The high-profile operation remains ongoing, despite other areas of the police work now being prioritised.

Explaining the fall, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Howard said: “There are a number of factors. We’ve run significant high-profile campaigns to target offenders and increase reporting and intelligence, and we have had some positive court results in relation to organised drug groups who have received considerable sentences. A recent operation saw 26 suspects charged with drug related offences. Operation Guardian was launched in September 2009 when resources were focussed on increased activity to tackle serious acquisitive crime; a crime type that links drugs activity as a possible causal factor.

“As a force we are required to change our approach at times and prioritise what we do with our resources.

“We have readjusted our staffing profile to ensure officers are in the right place at the right time in accordance with targeting offenders when they are likely to be active.

“This may have resulted in a reduction of the number of warrants executed.”