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Drugs: Convictions

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been convicted of (a) possession of and (b) supplying Class (i) A, (ii) B and (iii) C drugs in each year since 1997; and how many such people received (A) a custodial sentence and (B) the maximum sentence for those offences. (286040)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of defendants found guilty at all courts for the possession and supply of class A, B and C drugs, those sentenced to a custodial sentence and those receiving the maximum sentence, in England and Wales, from 1997 to 2007 (latest available) is shown in the following table.

The statistics given relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. For example, 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.

Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn 2009.

The number of defendants found guilty at all courts and sentenced to immediate custody for possession and supply of class A, B and C drugs in England and Wales, 1997 to 20071, 2, 3, 4, 5

1997

1998

1999

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Having possession of a controlled drug: class A

6,485

548

1

8,167

816

0

9,720

966

1

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class A

1,953

1,526

0

1,858

1,424

0

2,009

1,615

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class A

1,679

1,337

0

1,776

1,383

0

2,089

1,705

1

Having possession of a controlled drug: class B5

0,911

395

1

27359

624

1

26,687

634

1

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class B5

3,344

1,562

0

3,616

1,761

0

2,967

1,441

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class B5

1,857

860

1

1,955

908

0

1,517

754

0

Having possession of a controlled drug: class C6

145

13

0

187

12

0

159

9

0

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class C6

57

20

0

51

17

0

41

20

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in) : class C6

53

14

0

46

19

0

53

17

0

200020012002

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Having possession of a controlled drug: class A

10,439

1,000

2

11,548

1,109

0

11,417

988

0

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class A

2,344

1,827

0

2,750

2,133

0

2,741

2,068

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class A

2,184

1,804

0

2,408

1,898

0

2,512

1996

0

Having possession of a controlled drug: class B5

23,211

460

0

22,960

372

1

26,139

316

0

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class B5

2,210

1,003

0

1,579

736

0

1,617

647

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class B5

1,113

559

0

736

324

0

729

332

0

Having possession of a controlled drug: class C6

117

6

0

371

11

0

533

16

0

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class C6

27

13

1

25

14

0

38

14

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in) : class C6

29

13

0

32

17

0

23

7

2

200320042005

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Sentenced to:

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Found guilty

Immediate custody

Maximum sentence

Having possession of a controlled drug: class A

10,985

907

3

10,738

788

3

10,729

796

4

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class A

2.991

2,248

0

3,032

2,317

1

3,189

2,333

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class A

2,688

2,157

0

2,789

2,234

0

2,786

1,870

1

Having possession of a controlled drug: class B

28,093

370

1

8,658

174

0

4,362

122

0

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class B

1,735

599

0

1,220

522

0

497

215

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class B

659

299

0

418

201

0

225

116

0

Having possession of a controlled drug: class C6

515

7

0

8,304

82

0

12,170

140

6

Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class C6

38

15

1

578

133

0

1,332

416

0

Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in) : class C6

35

4

0

254

53

2

474

163

0

20062007Sentenced to:Sentenced to:Found guiltyImmediate custodyMaximum sentenceFound guiltyImmediate custodyMaximum sentenceHaving possession of a controlled drug: class A11,469796813,3899033Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class A3,1052,25003,5002,4692Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class A2,6161,79602,6331,8100Having possession of a controlled drug: class B3,83611203,2341272Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class B40215403081390Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in): class B16678084260Having possession of a controlled drug: class C612,688175315,0661975Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: class C61,47549301,6455200Supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug, (or being concerned in) : class C657318605681660 1 These data are on the principal offence basis.2 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.3 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.4 Cannabis was reclassified in January 2004 to a class C drug, Guidelines advised that offenders over the age of 18 could be given, for possession only, a “cannabis warning” which does not constitute a criminal record.5 Cannabis was re-classified to a class C drug in January 2004. From 1997-2004 the class B category includes cannabis, from 2005-2007 cannabis is included in class C.6 From January 2004 the statutory maximum penalty for Possession with intent to intent to supply and supplying a class C drug was increased from five to 14 years. Those sentenced in 2004 were all assumed to be eligible for the five year maximum those sentenced from 2005 onwards are assumed to be eligible for the 14 year maximum although as the date of offence is not known this may not be true of all cases.Source:Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Evidence and Analysis unit (OCJR-E and A).