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Drugs: Serious and Organised Crime Agency

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many intelligence referrals on drug trafficking were (a) investigated and (b) brought to court (i) in each of the three years before the establishment of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and (ii) by SOCA since its establishment. (156180)

SOCA and its predecessors receive intelligence from numerous sources and in a variety of forms. This is assessed, analysed and acted upon in different ways depending on the content. It is not therefore possible to quantify "intelligence referrals" as a unit of measurement.

The report, Drug Offenders in England and Wales (23/05), shows that in 2004 (the latest year for which data exist) 4,500 individuals were dealt with for the unlawful supply of all drugs. Of these, 3,350 were for Class A drugs. These include both cases dealt with by SOCA's predecessor organisations and the police forces of England and Wales.

In its first year (2006-07) SOCA casework in the UK led to the arrest of 601 individuals for drug-related offences. In the SOCA cases that reached the courts in 2006-07, convictions were secured against 211 individuals for drug-related offences. Additionally, at least 490 individuals were arrested in 2006-07 for Class A drugs-related offences as a result of SOCA's international casework. These figures relate only to SOCA casework. They do not include arrests and convictions in 2006-07 that have resulted from police or HMRC casework.