Customs and Immigration behind the scenes. Scanning suspect parcels at the post office. Picture: JACK MAGUIRE. (29176121)

Postal drug seizures rise in lockdown

THE amount of drugs seized at Jersey Post’s main sorting office soared earlier this year, according to a freedom of information request, as users turned to the mail when their usual supply lines were cut during lockdown.


With planes grounded and ferries confined to port for much of the spring and early summer, Islanders attempted to get their fix by importing cannabis in packages.

But Customs were focusing their efforts on the sorting office – and intercepted 185 parcels of drugs there within six months, compared to 111 during the whole of last year. With only a handful of government-vetted passengers travelling through the ports each week, Customs officers were able to concentrate their efforts at Jersey Post’s main hub instead.

Mark Cockerham, head of Jersey Customs and Immigration Service, said: ‘Since the advent of Covid-19, current intelligence would suggest that there is little of any type of illicit drug available locally and, together with the States of Jersey Police, we continue to monitor this.’

A statement accompanying the FoI response said: ‘The increase in seizures at the post office in the first half of 2020 is believed to be as a direct result of Covid-related travel restrictions, an interruption in supply chains, and an increased focus by JCIS [Jersey Customs and Immigration Service] at the post office.’

Mr Cockerham added that during the first six months of this year there was an increase in the number of cannabis seizures, with 156 seizures of the drug being been made by Customs, compared to 74 during the whole of last year.