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Drugs: Crime

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been prosecuted for (a) possession of and (b) dealing in ecstasy in each of the last 10 years. (248646)

Data provided by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts for the possession of and dealing in Ecstasy in England and Wales from 1998 to 2007 (latest available) are given in the following table.

The statistics 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 principal offence is the offence 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.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts for the possession of and dealing in Ecstasy1, England and Wales, 1998 to 20072, 3Offence19981999200020014200220032004200520062007Possession8101,3692,0642,6262,2772,1561,9211,7651,6181,693Possession with intent to supply4106931,0811,3521,064947726649582592Supply308408545528399306261245207217 1 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA is most commonly known as Ecstasy.2 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence 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.3 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 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.4 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.Source: Evidence and Analysis Unit - Office for Criminal Justice Reform