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Drugs: Sentencing

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have received the maximum sentence on conviction for dealing in (a) Class A drugs, (b) Class B drugs and (c) Class C drugs in each year since 1997. (248647)

The information requested is included in the following table. The data given includes possession with intent to supply, as well as supplying.

These data are based on the principle offence basis. Where an offender is found guilty of two or more offences, it is the offence for which the heaviest sentence is imposed which is recorded. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the statutory maximum penalty is most severe.

The maximum sentences for trafficking in control drugs are dependent on the class of drug involved. For class A drugs, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment. For class B and C drugs, the maximum sentence is 14 years.

The Government take dealing in illegal drugs very seriously. The maximum sentence for dealing class C drugs was increased to 14 years from five years in January 2004.

Offenders given maximum sentence for supplying drugs and possession with intent to supply offences, by class, 1997 to 2007

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Possession with intent to supply: Class A

1

2

Supplying: Class A

1

1

Possession with intent to supply: Class B

Supplying: Class B

1

Possession with intent to supply: Class C

Supplying: Class C

Notes:

1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.

2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

3. These data are based on the principle offence basis, where an offender is found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest sentence is imposed, where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the statutory maximum penalty is most severe.

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.