County drug busts up by 400 per cent

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NORTHANTS police have denied the county has a growing drugs problem after figures emerged showing seizures had quadrupled in a decade.

The Home Office figures show there were more seizures per person in Northants last year than any of the four police forces across the East Midlands.

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They also show the number of seizures across the county increased by 43 per cent in the last 12 months - the second biggest increase of any area in the country. That includes one raid in December in which around 800 cannabis plants were found at a property in High Street, Silverstone (pictured). Between April 2010 and March this year there were 2,147 drug seizures, compared to 420 in 2001, an increase of 411 per cent.

Head of Northants CID Det supt Mark Behan said he did not believe the county has a growing problem and added: “I think the more we concentrate on it the more we will find.

“There is a level of drug use in society and I am fairly sure that level is not going up but we are getting better and we are reaping the rewards of that rather than having to deal with a growing problem.” He added that a crack down on burglaries, robberies and car crime via Operation Guardian was also a factors and added: “Although drugs is not an explicit target for Operation Guardian it underpins a lot of what we do.”

In 12 months Northants Police have taken 1.3 tonnes of cannabis off the streets.