The UK's Ketamine Capital Has Been Confirmed

According to the Home Office's new seizure of drugs statistics, every stereotype about British cities and their drug of choice is true.
January 15, 2020, 11:42am
lines of cocaine
Photo: Emily Bowler

Certain areas of the UK are synonymous with certain drugs. London and its roaring City boys: cocaine. Brighton and its dreadlocked fire poi army: weed. Bristol is a hive of crusty K-heads. Manchester is MDMA central. In Leeds, they just do loads of everything.

There's a reason we have these assumptions: because – according to the Home Office's latest seizures of drugs figures – they're true.

In the 2018/19 year, more cocaine was seized in London than anywhere else in England and Wales, by quite a long way: 3,030 bags were nabbed in the capital, compared to 2,278 in the entire South East Region and 1,693 in the North West. The only other city big enough to get a mention in the stats, Greater Manchester, saw 699 seizures.

Besides London, the number of cannabis seizures were highest in the South East, at 11,906 (followed closely by 11,805 in England's Eastern Region). Within the South East, Sussex topped the charts, with 4,041 seizures. Sussex's biggest city? Brighton and Hove.

Lastly, in news that will surprise absolutely nobody who's been to a party within a 30-mile radius of the Avon Gorge, the South West tops the list for ketamine seizures, with 174 – representing nearly a quarter of England's total 775 K seizures. Weirdly, within the South West, Devon and Cornwall actually takes the top spot, with 75 seizures – but Bristol's Avon and Somerset follows closely behind, with 54.

Looking at the total number of seizures of all drugs – ecstasy, LSD, GHB, all the other big hitters – London was by far the epicentre, with 31,915, compared to the second place South East Region, with 16,024.

So there you have it: all stereotypes are true. Never question anything.