Drug seizures spiked in West Mercia last year, with police recording hundreds more incidents.

The Police Federation of England and Wales warned that a "proliferation of illicit drugs on the streets of the UK" is being used to fund serious crime, following the first rise in seizures across the two countries for seven years.

West Mercia Police recorded 3,292 drug seizures in 2018-19, according to figures released by the Home Office. That was a rise of 14% compared to the previous year. The figures mean there were 2,567 seizures for every million residents, higher than the rate of 2,432 per million across England and Wales.

Class A drugs – those considered to be the most harmful, such as heroin, cocaine and crack – accounted for 16% of seizures last year. The most frequently seized drug was cannabis (1,990) followed by cocaine (265).