In the aftermath of the credit crunch, revellers are splurging their new found extra cash on cocaine binges.
That’s one of the theories offered up by one of Whitby’s top police officers, as to why there’s been a spike in drug offences in the town.
And Inspector Andy Colbourne also thinks more people may be turning to the Class A drug because dealers have doubled the price of heroin.
According to the figures supplied by North Yorkshire Police, drug crime has soared by a third, and Inspector Colbourne said: “The economy has now picked up a bit, so people are going out and doing it at the weekend, as it’s a recreational drug.
“But I’m proper against drugs, and my concern is that the younger generation become addicted to it, and turn to offences such as burglary as a result.”
The figures supplied to the Gazette show that since April, there have been 24 drug offences, compared to 18 in the same period in 2013.
But despite the spike, Inspector Colbourne insists there is no need for public panic over the figures.
“What I don’t want the public to think is that we have a massive drug problem in Whitby,” he added.
“But drugs are one of my major concerns, and we must tackle them.”
Police say the most noticeable increase in recent months has been in rural areas, although cannabis remains the Whitby force’s drug priority.
The comments follow the revelation last week that cocaine had become a “trendy” drug among Whitby’s nightlife scene.
However one source with ties to Whitby’s night time economy said of cocaine use in Whitby: “It’s always been really bad in Whitby, and a lot of the stuff isn’t very pure.
“Bars have known about it for years, some would even put Vaseline on the toilet seats to stop people snorting it.”
But police in Whitby are trying to address the issue.
Officers are working with pubs and clubs, chatting to doormen about people they suspect may have snorted the illegal substance.
And police are also stopping and searching suspected users and dealers in the town centre.
“We could search 30 people on a night out, and only find two people with anything on them,” added Inspector Colbourne.
“But it still shows that we are doing something about it.”