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Drugs: Misuse

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been (a) proceeded against, (b) found guilty and (c) imprisoned for the offence of possessing (i) heroin, (ii) cocaine, (iii) ecstasy and (iv) LSD under section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in each of the last 10 years. (200549)

The number of people proceeded against at magistrates courts for possession of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, and subsequently found guilty at all courts, and sentenced to immediate custody in England and Wales, for the years 1997 to 2006 can be viewed in the following tables.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for possession of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, and subsequently found guilty at all courts and sentenced to immediate custody in England and Wales, 1997 to 20061,2,3,4

Proceeded against

Having possession of a controlled drug: Cocaine

Having possession of a controlled drug: Heroin

Having possession of a controlled drug: LSD

Having possession of a controlled drug: MDMA

1997

1,194

3,698

205

1,132

1998

1,829

4,819

173

810

1999

2,268

5,236

150

1,369

2000

2,048

5,436

68

2,064

2001

2,133

5,849

77

2,626

2002

2,387

5,494

47

2,277

2003

2,668

4,832

49

2,156

2004

2,901

4,461

45

1,921

2005

3,352

4,158

68

1,765

2006

4,190

4,184

54

1,618

Found guilty

Having possession of a controlled drug: Cocaine

Having possession of a controlled drug: Heroin

Having possession of a controlled drug: LSD

Having possession of a controlled drug: MDMA

1997

1,050

3,248

203

1,048

1998

1,644

4,331

167

753

1999

2,039

4,814

141

1,262

2000

1,874

5,058

67

1,951

2001

1,968

5,411

67

2,493

2002

2,230

5,042

40

2,165

2003

2,448

4,556

43

2,009

2004

2,740

4,256

40

1,853

2005

3,183

3,954

61

1,677

2006

4,001

3,961

47

1,539

Sentenced to immediate custody

Having possession of a controlled drug: Cocaine

Having possession of a controlled drug: Heroin

Having possession of a controlled drug: LSD

Having possession of a controlled drug: MDMA

1997

70

319

15

62

1998

103

500

16

51

1999

146

591

13

69

2000

140

595

3

106

2001

147

635

3

151

2002

142

560

100

2003

153

484

81

2004

132

428

60

2005

154

384

4

61

2006

187

370

2

62

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 5(2) (Class ‘A’ Drug).

Having possession of a controlled drug:-Cocaine.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 5(2) (Class ‘A’ Drug).

Having possession of a controlled drug:-Heroin.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 5(2) (Class ‘A’ Drug).

Having possession of a controlled drug:-LSD.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 Sec 5(2) (Class ‘A’ Drug).

Having possession of a controlled drug:-MDMA.

3 MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is also known as “ecstasy”

4 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, other agencies, and police forces. 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.

Source:

Court proceedings data held by RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice