POLICE in West Yorkshire have helped towards record drug seizures of cannabis across the UK.
The amount of cannabis seized by police and customs nearly doubled last year, official figures revealed.
Law enforcement agencies recovered a total of 65 tonnes of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin in 2008/9, up from 38 tonnes in 2007, according to Home Office statistics.
But the amount of cocaine seized plummeted by a fifth, to 2.9 tonnes over the same period.
In West Yorkshire, a major factor has been the number of cannabis “factories” – many of them in Huddersfield.
Over the past two years, more than 1,500 so-called factories have been raided and an astonishing 57,519 plants seized. Those were estimated to have a street value of more than £17.2m
In Huddersfield, there have been more than 80 raids so far this year.
Big seizures have been in Longwood, Fartown and Newsome, with cannabis plants worth more than £150,000 seized by officers.
Most of the drugs are seized by the UK Border Agency, with around 10% seized by police forces.
The data on the number of cocaine seizures reflects its increasing use across the country.
It was the most commonly found class A drug for the third year running, with nearly 24,000 separate seizures by police in England and Wales last year.
That is more than three times the number of ‘coke’ seizures made five years ago, and an increase of 15% on last year.