The latest Northern Ireland Statistical and Research Agency Statistics show there has been an increase in both the number of drug-related incidents and arrests over the last twelve months.
During the last financial year (1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020), there were 3,819 drugs related arrests which is an increase of 501 (15.1%) compared with the previous 12 months (1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019). During the same period, there were 8,177 drugs related incidents which is an increase of 616 (8.1%) compared to the previous twelve months (1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019).
Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Investigation Branch: “There is a continued upward trend in both the number of arrests and drugs related incidents since 2006/07, with the figures over the last twelve months confirming this. This is due to both increased detections carried out by police and police acting on information provided by the public.”
“We have also seen higher numbers of seizures relating to Class B and Class C drugs, with Cannabis the most commonly seized drug in Northern Ireland. People may see these drugs as something that does not harm others, when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is it illegal to purchase these drugs, but it also fuels the local drug trade which causes irreparable damage and loss to many families and individuals whose lives they destroy. The money provided to drug dealers funds the violence and intimidation inflicted by merciless crime gangs upon local communities.
“We are extremely encouraged by the continued assistance provided by the local community in helping to tackle the scourge of drug-related crime, which has helped to bring those involved in the illegal drugs trade to justice”
Police conducted over 8,000 drug seizures and made 3,819 arrests over the last twelve months. We will continue to target criminals who seek to gain from the illegal drugs trade and from the misfortune of others.
“We continue to work closely with our criminal justice partners, as well as key stakeholders within local communities to tackle drug related offences. The continued collaborative working with colleagues through the Organised Crime Task Force and the Cross Border Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) has also had a positive impact in detecting drug related offences on both sides of the border.
“Drugs destroy communities and ruins lives. We are committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile environment for those who are involved in the drugs trade and anyone tempted to becoming involved should be under no illusion that we will seek to identify them, arrest them and bring them before the courts.
“I would appeal to anyone who has information in relation to illegal drugs, to contact police on 101. You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/ .”