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Cannabis

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) adults and (b) young offenders were (i) reprimanded for, (ii) received a final warning for and (iii) charged with possession of cannabis in each year between 2002 and 2005. (91670)

Available information relates to the number of persons aged 18 and over in England and Wales cautioned, receiving formal warnings (since April 2004) or found guilty under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 of unlawfully possessing cannabis between 2002 and 2004. The number of reprimands and warnings, which replaced cautions for persons aged under 18 in selected areas of England and Wales on 30 September 1998, are also given for 2003 and 2004.

Number of persons (a) aged 18 and over (b) aged under 18 cautioned or found guilty of unlawfully possessing cannabis, England and Wales, 2002 to 2004

2002

2003

2004

(a) Persons aged 18 and over

Cautions

28,941

29,209

15,214

Formal warnings

1

1

27,520

Found guilty

31,234

33,995

18,850

(b) Persons aged under 18

Reprimands

28,869

6,220

4,769

Warnings

2

2,705

2,544

Found guilty

4,997

5,367

4,111

1 Formal warnings data for cannabis possession have been available since April 2004. Those aged 18 and over who are caught in simple possession of cannabis can be eligible for a police formal warning which would not involve an arrest. Police issued 27,520 formal warnings between April and December 2004. 2 Separate figures for reprimands and warnings not available for 2002.