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Drugs: Children

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children have been (a) arrested, (b) prosecuted and (c) imprisoned for drugs offences since 2005. (137022)

There were 14,500 persons aged 17 and under arrested for notifiable drug offences in England and Wales in 2004-05, the latest year for which data have been published (HOSB 21/05).

Latest available prosecutions data relate to persons aged under 17 cautioned or dealt with at court for all drug offences in England and Wales during 2004 (HOSB 23/05).

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts, police forces and other agencies. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Persons aged under 17 dealt with for principal drug offences1 by action taken: England and Wales 2004

Action taken

Number of persons

Dealt with at court

Found guilty

3,180

Of which:

Immediate custody

86

Suspended sentence

Non-custodial

3,094

Found not guilty

402

Total dealt with at court

3,582

Cautioned

5,797

Other2

10

Total

9,389

1 In the case of persons charged with two or more drug offences, the principal drug offence is the one for which attracted the most severe penalty.

2 Includes informal warnings and no further action.