Drug dealers had almost 200kg of heroin and cocaine seized by police in Scotland last year, and more than 25,000 ecstasy tablets were confiscated.

Heroin was the main Class A substance seized in connection with crimes to do with drug supply, with 118.6kg discovered by Police Scotland in 2017-18.

Officers also seized 74.4kg of cocaine and a further 6.7kg of crack cocaine, according to official Scottish Government figures on both supply and possession-related crimes.

Cannabis weighing 1,178.4kg was taken from suspected dealers in either resin or herbal form, in addition to approximately 16,000 cannabis plants.

The amount of heroin seized from dealers last year was more than double the 54.1kg found in 2016, although there were just 11 more recorded cases.

The main Class C drugs seized were 321,000 diazepam or other benzodiazepine tablets, and 264,000 etizolam tablets.

For drug-possession crimes, more than half involved cannabis, with the Class B drug accounting for 54% of the recorded crimes last year.

86% of possession-related culprits were men and the offenders’ average age was 30, while in almost a third of cases a person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when caught.

The drugs were seized in the street in almost half of cases, while almost a quarter were discovered in a home.

It is estimated that 44% of drug possessions in the sample were detected by police while on routine patrol.

The majority of these were cases where police officers on patrol had a suspicion or observed that the offender was in possession of drugs, with this category accounting for 37% of all records reviewed.

A further 7% of records involved police on patrol finding drugs while dealing with another crime.

However, the number of recorded incidents has fallen for the last three years, reaching 27,171 estimated offences for drug possession in 2017-18.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “In the last ten years we have invested over £784 million to tackle problem alcohol and drug use.

“Our new alcohol and drugs strategy will strengthen existing measures to support those vulnerable to drug and alcohol harm, while applying the full force of the law to hit the dealers who cause misery that blights the lives of so many.

“Drug enforcement, including seizures, remains a key part of Police Scotland activity, supported by the Scottish Government’s commitment to protecting the police resource budget in every year of this Parliament – a boost of £100 million by 2021.”

Scottish Conservative Shadow Justice Secretary Liam Kerr accused the SNP of being “far too soft on the issue of hard drugs”.

Mr Kerr added: “Last year, the police presented the courts with hundreds of opportunities to come down on drug dealers like a ton of bricks.

“But we have an SNP administration more interested in making it easier for people to take drugs, instead of giving them the support they need to beat the habit altogether.

“Addiction is ruining lives and our public services find themselves already stretched dealing with the fallout through crime, disorder and health impacts.”

However, Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton called for “a crystal-clear commitment to stop sending people caught in possession of drugs for their own personal use to prison”.

Pushing proposals for “heroin assisted treatment clinics”, he added: “It makes sense to send them for treatment and education instead of prison where one study found half of people released tested positive for drugs.”

Labour’s justice spokesman Daniel Johnson said: “Scotland has the largest number of overdose deaths per capita in western Europe, and more than double the number of England and Wales.

“This must be taken seriously. The Government should treat the scale of the drug crisis in our communities as a public health emergency.”

Police Scotland’s chief superintendent John McKenzie said: “We recognise the devastating impact that drugs have on our communities and we are committed to tackling the sale and supply of controlled drugs.

“We will continue to pro-actively target those who are responsible for the manufacturing, importation, sale and distribution of illicit substances.

“Enforcement alone will not solve the problem and we recognise the value of prevention and partnership engagement to tackle stigma and influence behaviour.

“By working closely with partners, we can safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities and make Scotland a safer place.”