Drugs seizures drop by 97% in Sunderland

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CLASS A drug seizures in Sunderland have plummeted by 97 per cent in just 12 months.

Figures obtained by the Echo reveal drugs with a street value of £123,138 were recovered by police during 2012, but this fell to just £3,487 last year.

Drugs seized included heroin, cocaine, crack-cocaine and Ecstasy.

Police bosses today said the difference in figures was due to “specific operations” carried out in 2012, which were not repeated the following year.

Heroin, with a street value of more than £93,000, was taken off the streets in 2012 but this fell to just £1,400 in 2013.

More than 970 grams of cocaine worth £29,452 was recovered in 2012 compared to just £1,360 a year later. The figures, obtained by the Echo under the Freedom of Information Act, only relate to drug operations in the city and do not include a number of high-profile operations in which Sunderland drug dealers have been arrested outside Wearside.

Officers seized crack-cocaine worth just £106 in 2012 and made no seizures of the highly addictive drug last year.

The figures suggest the city remains relatively unscathed by the crack-cocaine problem which has affected bigger cities.

Ecstasy, or MDMA, was the only drug in which the street values of seizures increased between 2012 and 2013, rising from £545 to £720.

Among those caught with Class A drugs last year was schoolteacher Michael YoungHusband, who was jailed after he was caught carrying out a cocaine deal near Penshaw Monument.

The geography and maths teacher was seen taking delivery of a package containing 744g of the Class A drug from Keith Brumwell in the parking area close to the Monument on August 28.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander, said: “It’s well known that the misuse of drugs can bring misery to our communities and can result in other types of crime and disorder.

“We will continue to take action against those who are involved in the supply of controlled drugs and make sure they are arrested and put before the courts.

“In 2012, a number of specific operations were carried out in the area which saw an increase in the amount of class A drugs recovered in Sunderland.

“While this was not replicated the following year, it doesn’t mean we are complacent.

“We will continue to act on information which would allow us to disrupt the supply of drugs and arrest those involved.

“I would continue to urge people to get in contact if they are concerned about drugs or drugs supply or any crime and disorder issues within their neighbourhood.”