THE number of drug seizures made by police in Lancashire has dropped more than anywhere else in the country – while the number of drug-related deaths being recorded is ‘spiralling’ out of control.

The latest Government data shows that the county has seen the biggest national drop in the number of drug seizures carried out over the last year, with only 945 taking place in 2018/19, compared to 1,169 the year before - a drop of 19 per cent.

But while the number of drug raids taking place is significantly on the decrease, the number of drug-related deaths is on the rise.

Back in October, the Lancashire Telegraph reported that places such as the leafy Ribble Valley had recorded ‘record highs’ of fatalities directly linked to drugs.

At the time, MP Nigel Evans slammed the figures, stating the ‘worrying’ rise in deaths could be linked to a lack of education in young children.

He said: “This is something that needs to be addressed with the utmost urgency. The police, health experts and politicians need to get together and work out what course of action needs to be taken to ensure this increase is halted.”

Also in October, three were charged over a £4million Darwen cannabis farm, which was discovered by officers following a planned raid.

However, the police have said they would like to reassure the public that they will keep up the pressure on those involved in serious and organised crime.

Head of serious and organised crime, Det Supt Kev McLean said: “Tackling organised crime is a priority for Lancashire Constabulary and an increasingly complex area of work. Alongside the supply of controlled drugs and its associated violence we are actively targeting those individuals involved in other forms of serious crime affecting the most vulnerable members of society including human trafficking, child sex exploitation and abuse, and organised fraud.

“We recognise the impact that drugs have on communities and tackling organised crime groups involved in the supply of controlled substances will always be a priority for us.

“Organised crime, including the production and supply of drugs, the violence which controls this market and how it impacts on vulnerable people, blights our communities and puts ordinary law-abiding people at risk. We will continue to focus on those who are working at the higher levels of these gangs, however, we will always take action against those we find are involved in street level supply.

“I would like to reassure the public we will keep up the pressure on those involved in serious and organised crime across the county, continually striving to protect the most vulnerable. We will relentlessly pursue these offenders.”