North Wales Police seized more cocaine and ketamine last year, new figures show.

Release, the national centre for drugs expertise, said the government's figures on drug seizures show the "futility of their efforts" as drug harm and death remains high.

Home Office figures show 14.1kg of cocaine were seized by North Wales Police in the year to March 2022 – up from 12.5kg the year before.

Similarly, there was an increase in the amount of ketamine seized from 0.7kg in 2021 to 3kg last year.

Across England and Wales the quantity of cocaine seized by police forces and Border Force rose by 68 per cent from over 11,000kg in 2021 to nearly 19,000kg last year.

Additionally, the amount of ketamine confiscated rose nearly ten-fold from 187kg to 1,837kg respectively.

The Home Office said this stark increase was the product of more high-quantity seizures.

Niamh Eastwood, Release's executive director, said the Home Office's annual figures on drug seizures shows how futile their efforts are in stopping the illegal drug market.

"The market continues unabated, and harms continue to be at an all-time high, especially in relation to the tragedy of drug-related deaths," Ms Eastwood said.

She added: "It is unsurprising to see cocaine at the top of the Class A seizure tables given its popularity, but despite tens of thousands of kilos of cocaine being taken off the streets there will be little impact on the availability of the drug.

"We need to start to look at what other countries are doing, ending criminal sanctions for possession offences, and exploring regulated markets and reducing the harms that people are experiencing."

The figures show there were 1,849 total drug seizures in North Wales last year – down from 2,210 in 2021.

A significant amount of the drugs seized in the area last year were cannabis plants (614 plants) and herbal cannabis (42.8kg).

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said the government will continue to back police and Border Force to use every available power to stop drugs from entering the country.

He added the figures show how effective the government's approach has been as they "continue to go after the criminals who blight so many communities and destroy lives with these harmful substances".

Regionally, police forces in Wales confiscated 4 per cent of the drugs seized across England and Wales.

Forces in London (22 per cent) and in the East of England (12 per cent) seized the highest amount. After them, Border Forces seized 11 per cent of drugs confiscated nationally.

Steve Dann, Border Force chief operating officer said: "These seizures send a clear message to anyone prepared to smuggle illegal drugs into the country that we remain committed to tackle often violent and exploitative drug supply chains.

"Border Force Officers involved in these seizures can be proud of their work in stopping these dangerous drugs from entering our communities."