Fall in arrests for drug possession in Harrogate

The number of people arrested by North Yorkshire Police for possession of drugs fell between 2014 and 2016.
The number of people arrested by North Yorkshire Police for possession of drugs fell between 2014 and 2016.

Police figures obtained by the Harrogate Advertiser reveal that the number of people arrested by North Yorkshire Police for possession of drugs fell between 2014 and 2016.

The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information request,revealed that officers made 74 arrests for drug possession in 2016, 23 fewer arrests than in 2014.

Throughout this period cannabis and cocaine remained two of the most commonly found drugs in the area, both peaking in 2014 at 47 and 29 arrests respectively.

Arrests for cannabis saw a steep decline, the number of arrests falling to 29 out of the total made last year.

North Yorkshire Police pointed to the role of intelligence and support offered to drug users as examples of how the overall trend could be explained.

Supt Paula Booth, County Commander for Harrogate, Craven, Hambleton and Richmondshire said: “Drug taking and drug dealing have a devastating and destructive effect on our communities and profits criminals and organised gangs.

“The number of arrests we make for drug offences will of course vary over time and community intelligence plays a central part in the identification and targeting of drug dealers operating in Harrogate and across North Yorkshire.

“Working alongside our partner organisations we also look to other solutions, to assist those addicted to break away from this damaging behaviour and seek treatment and rehabilitation.

“I would appeal to the public that if you know of someone involved in the supply of drugs in your area, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 - select option 1 - and pass information to the Force Control Room.

“If you prefer not to give your name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Officers made 20 arrests for cocaine possession last year.

It followed a drop between 2014 and 2015 where arrests for the class A drug fell to 12 from 29.

Arrests for heroin possession dropped from 14 in 2015 to 6 last year.

The remaining arrests were made over possessions of amphetamines, crack, GHB, ketamine, mephedrone and a combination of of other class A, B and C drugs.