Transparency data

Drug seizures by Border Force in the UK

The number of drug seizures made and the quantity of drugs seized by Border Force, published each quarter.

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Data within this document is no longer valid.


UK drug seizure data: volume

UK drug seizure data: seizures


This data includes the number of seizures made, by drug type, for all drugs controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the volume of seizures made on the main drug types. The data is broken down to show each UK nation, for example, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The new Border Force

The Home Office publication presents figures for drug seizures made in 2011 to 12 in England and Wales by police and the former UK Border Agency. It should be noted that, from 1 March 2012, Border Force separated from the former UK Border Agency and became an operational command within the Home Office taking responsibility (amongst other things) for drug detection at the border.

Patrol vessel seizures

For 2011 to 12 onwards, the UK Border Agency/Border Force figures include those seizures made by our fleet of seagoing patrol vessels which operate around the UK coastline. The location of the seizures made by the patrol vessels are reported in line with where the seizures are landed.

Increases in drug seizures

Comparison of drug seizures made by Border Force (previously UK Border Agency) in first half of 2012 to 13 with the first half of 2011 to 12 shows that the overall number of seizures increased by 50%. Cocaine seizures increased by nearly 8%, with the quantity seized falling by around 30%. Heroin seizures have increased by over 30%, with the quantity seized falling by over 55%.

The quantity of drugs seized can be skewed by small numbers of very large seizures, which can result in increased seizures being masked when only comparing quantity.

Published 23 May 2013
Last updated 1 April 2014 + show all updates
  1. Q2 and Q3 data added.
  2. First published.