Yvette Cooper MP calls for 'urgent' action as drug crimes in Castleford double in five years

Yvette Cooper MP calls for 'urgent' action after drug crimes in Castleford double in five years
Yvette Cooper MP calls for 'urgent' action after drug crimes in Castleford double in five years

Drug crime in Castleford has more than doubled in the past five years.

According to new data from police forces across the UK, collected by the BBC, drug crime is increasingly moving out of cities and into towns and villages.

Yvette Cooper MP has called for an "urgent meeting" with police and councillors about the increase.

Though drug crimes have fallen in Wakefield and Leeds, the number of reported drug crimes in Castleford rose from 74 in 2013 to 192 in 2018, an increase of almost 160 per cent.

Levels of drug crime have remained stable in Pontefract, with 72 reports in 2018, a decrease from 85 in 2013.

In Wakefield, levels of drug crime fell by more than 37 per cent during the same period, with 209 drug crimes recorded last year.

Yvette Cooper, MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, said: “We have been warning the Government repeatedly that drug crime and violent crime are increasing steeply in our towns not just our cities. But they just haven’t listened and their response is completely failing.

"In Castleford, drug crime has doubled in the last five years at a time when neighbourhood policing has been halved, drug treatment has been cut, and youth services have been slashed as a result of Government policies.

“The Home Affairs Committee has warned that the Government’s drugs strategy is failing miserably, and that Government leadership on county lines and the drug market has been completely inadequate. It’s just not good enough.

"The Government has no proper strategy to deal with county lines drug dealers spreading from cities into our towns, and it is completely unfair on towns like ours.

“This is a shocking indictment of the Tory government’s failure on crime. We urgently need more police in our towns, but the Government also needs to provide more investment in youth services, and come up with a proper strategy.

“I’ve called for an urgent meeting with West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council about tackling the county lines that are operating into Castleford. But we need urgent action from the Government to back them up. Bluster and guff isn’t good enough, we need action."