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Drug seizures and offending: Social Indicators page

Published Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A summary of statistics on drug use, drug seizures and drug offences.

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In 2015/16 police recorded 147,540 drug offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, a decrease of 13% on the previous year. 83% of all drug offences recorded by the police were for possession with 63% of total drug offences recorded being for the possession of cannabis.

Police recorded crime by offence





In England and Wales in 2015, there were just over 23,000 cautions for drug offences issued and 51,000 offenders were proceeded against. Of the 51,000 proceeded against, just over 46,000 (91%) were convicted and sentenced. 36% of those sentenced recieved a fine (at an average of just over £120) and 19% recieved immediate custody (at an average sentence length of 11 months). Source: MoJ, Criminal justice statistics outcomes by offence data tool, 19 May 2016.

% change in seizure of drugs





There were 157,557 drug seizures by police forces and UK Border Force in England and Wales in 2015/16. This represents a decrease of 10% from 2014/5. Cannabis was the most commonly seized controlled substance accounting for 76% of all seizures in 2015/16, compared with cocaine (11%), heroin (6%) and crack (3%).

Drug seizures by type 2015/16

Commons Briefing papers SN02619

Author: Grahame Allen

Topics: Crime, Drugs crimes, Drugs misuse

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