Cannabis accounts for a staggering 75% of all drugs seizures by Greater Manchester Police – with an average of 15 busts a day, MM can reveal.
Statistics examining drug hauls from July 1, 2012 – April 30, 2013 revealed GMP conducted 4,588 cannabis busts, while Class A drugs accounted for less than 25% of all seizures.
These are the second revelations in MM’s three part drug expose, the last instalment will come tomorrow. Yesterday we revealed that a staggering £90,000 worth of drugs is being seized on average EVERY DAY from Manchester’s streets.
|Drug||Total Seizures||Total Seizures (%)|
Sarah McCulloch, Chair of Manchester’s Re:Vision Drug Policy Network, slammed GMP’s approach to tackling drugs, insisting they place far too much emphasis on policing cannabis.
“Spending 75% of police resources on cannabis is completely absurd,” she said.
“When you consider the harm caused by cannabis, it is absolutely crazy that they are putting that sort of effort into policing it.
“You simply cannot stop people growing and selling it. GMP fail to realise that reducing supply does not reduce demand.
“Where there are people willing to buy cannabis, there are people willing to grow, smuggle, and deal it.”
Despite the high number of busts, cannabis still ranked behind cocaine – which accounted for £12,229,735 of the £27,851,933 total – in terms of the overall street value of drugs seized.
Ms McCulloch admitted the figures were concerning and caused her to wonder about the sheer scale of Manchester’s drug market.
“I am not, ultimately, incredibly surprised,” she said. “Manchester is a really big city and there are a lot of people using cannabis in it.
“But the numbers certainly do look very, very big and you have to assume that is only a fraction of the actual quantity of drugs floating around Manchester.”
She pointed out that an apparent abundance of people using the drug, Manchester has not experienced a large number of cannabis-related hospital admissions.
“You would have to say is this a problem and look at the hospital admissions and determine whether there are a lot of cannabis-related injuries,” she said.
“I don’t think there are, certainly in comparison to the vast quantities of cannabis that people in Manchester are consuming.
“When you realise that, I think people need to ask themselves, if cannabis isn’t that dangerous, then why on earth are the police going to such efforts to stop people from using it?”
She also explained that if cannabis was legalised then police could focus greater resources into tackling more serious crime.
“Police could be putting more resources into serious crimes such as rapes, murders and assaults,” she said.
“When you are looking at where the police focus their resources, they should be targeting people who are producing drugs and bringing all kinds of community problems with them.
“People like gangs who use violence to protect their turf. Those people should be targeted, not people who are just growing cannabis in a house.”
Greater Manchester Police declined to comment on the issue.
Experts believe the average daily £91,618.20 haul, mainly consisting of cocaine and heroin, is only the tip of the iceberg –with huge quantities of Class A drugs flooding into the city every year.
Greater Manchester Police seized nearly £28million worth of drugs in 6,164 separate seizures over a ten month period from July 1 last year to April 30 this year.
This is a startling average of more than 20 seizures per day.
The table below illustrates the values of all drugs seized by GMP from July 1 2012 to April 30 2013.
Total £ (Street Value)
Picture courtesy of Rusty Blazenhoff, with thanks.