Stunning haul by navy shows just how vital the service is

STEVE CANAVAN: Take note of why I love this country so much

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The haul of drugs seized by the Royal Navy since 2014 is mind-bogglingly hard to quantify; it hits a staggering £966.8m.

To put this in perspective, the average Ford Focus costs about £14,000.

If you were to spend all the money which could have been made through the illegal sale of these drugs, it could have purchased 66,200 of these cars.

If they were then placed bumper to bumper, in single file, the line would stretch for almost 180 miles – or could equate to a 90-mile hold-up on a dual carriageway.

As Portsmouth City Council’s leader Donna Jones told us, the amount of cash could almost have run two cities the size of Portsmouth for a year.

This is how much of an impact the courageous men and women of the Royal Navy have had on the international drugs trade.

However, what is even more difficult to quantify is the bravery of our servicemen and women to risk their lives to make our lives safer.

What today’s impressive figures – revealed by The News – can go some way to proving is how vital an asset the Royal Navy is.

The two new aircraft carriers will be a welcome boost to the navy’s ability to strike at the heart of tyranny.

But there has to be the right number of people to man those enormous warships.

So with this in mind, The News is appealing directly to the government to boost the Royal Navy’s manpower.

Of course, new ships are key for the future of the fleet.

But what is even more important is having new generations of courageous men and women who can protect our nation from the scourge of drugs and terrorism. Without them, achievements like today’s will be tough to replicate.