NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE has already exceeded the number of drug drivers arrested last year as numbers continue to show a year on year increase.

Using information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the D&S Times can reveal in the nine months up to the end of September, officers from the North Yorkshire Police arrested 481 suspects for the six categories of drug driving offences. This already exceeds the total for the whole of last year, which was 468.

As reported previously, drug drivers were easily identified and caught during the lockdown. Additionally with proactive anti-drug work being conducted across the county, these latest statistics mirror previously released increased figures for general drug offending.

In the first seven months of this year North Yorkshire Police arrested 808 people for general (non driving) drugs offences across the county from January to the end of July. This number was approaching and has probably already exceeded 2019’s full yearly total of 854.

Enforcement was boosted in 2015 by the instruction of a drug wipe screening device which indicates the presence of cannabis and cocaine. It saw numbers of arrests leap dramatically.

The figures are yet to be fully analysed, but anecdotally, the majority of the offenders are young men.

A police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police has proactive teams dedicated to disrupting suspected drug dealing. Members of the public provide invaluable information that helps shape our operational activity and we urge people to look out for the signs of drug dealing in their neighbourhood.”

To pass on information concerning criminal behaviour or suspected drug dealing contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers may be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.