More than 18,000kg (nearly 40,000lb) of cocaine was seized by police and border officials in England and Wales in the year to March 2022 – the highest annual total on record.
The amount of herbal cannabis seized hit a near 30-year high, while the quantity of ketamine confiscated also rose substantially, according to Home Office figures.
But overall, the number of drug seizures fell by 14% compared with the previous period, signalling a return to levels recorded prior to the coronavirus pandemic after a spike during lockdowns.
This is the highest quantity since current records began in 2006/7 (3,191kg/7,035lb), driven by an increase in the number of seizures weighing 100kg (220lb) or more by Border Force.
The amount of class B herbal cannabis seized in the year to March 2022 more than doubled, with 35,436kg (78,123lb) confiscated compared with 17,155kg (37,820lb) in the previous period.
This is the highest recorded quantity since 1994, when 56,440kg (124,429lb) was seized, a Home Office report published on Thursday said.
The quantity of ketamine seized was nearly 10 times the figure for the previous year, rising from 187kg (412lb) to 1,837kg (4,050lb), as a result of an increase in the number of seizures over 10kg (22lb) by Border Force.
This is also the highest amount of the class B drug seized since records began in 2006/7 (3kg/7lb).
Police forces accounted for the majority of the number of seizures (89% or 168,050).
Although Border Force seizures made up a small proportion of the total number of seizures (11% or 20,879), its officers were responsible for discovering much larger quantities of drugs as a result of operations at places like airports and ferry ports.
Border Force seized the majority of cocaine (91% or 17,087kg/37,670lb) and ketamine (91% or 1,664kg/3,668lb) discovered in the period.