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Fines: Drugs

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) lowest, (b) average and (c) highest fine given to a person convicted of possession of (i) cannabis, (ii) ecstasy, (iii) cocaine, (iv) crack cocaine and (v) heroin has been in each year since 1997. (291253)

The requested information is shown in the following table:

Average, maximum and minimum fine amounts imposed at all courts by drug type and year, 1997 to 2007, England and Wales

Fine

Drug type and year

Minimum (£)

Maximum (£)

Average (£)

Cannabis

1997

<5

2,400

82.06

1998

<5

3,060

78.27

1999

<5

1,300

75.41

2000

<5

3,350

74.87

2001

<5

2,000

72.12

2002

<5

2,000

66.27

2003

<5

5,000

70.58

2004

5

5,000

71.14

2005

<5

5,000

73.65

2006

<5

1,000

78.90

2007

<5

1,400

80.93

Cocaine

1997

25

5,000

624.50

1998

100

700

227.78

1999

50

500

271.88

2000

75

200

124.00

2001

50

250

136.11

2002

40

2,500

366.92

2003

30

750

215.53

2004

100

1,000

371.43

2005

50

4,000

670.71

2006

30

750

293.33

2007

30

1,000

326.05

Crack cocaine

1997

180

180

180.00

1998

75

100

83.33

1999

125

200

162.50

2000

50

50

50.00

2001

100

300

190.00

2002

100

150

125.00

2003

75

75

75.00

2004

50

250

183.33

2005

50

1,500

321.43

2006

20

120

80.00

2007

25

60

38.33

Ecstasy (MDMA)

1997

40

750

209.33

1998

100

750

269.09

1999

75

2,000

359.06

2000

50

1,000

246.50

2001

100

1,500

403.00

2002

50

1,000

291.14

2003

40

1,000

356.46

2004

75

650

272.50

2005

100

1,000

500.00

2006

100

500

210.00

2007

250

2,500

678.57

Heroin

1997

70

2,000

406.25

1998

50

300

155.77

1999

50

500

194.44

2000

75

300

161.25

2001

25

600

163.75

2002

60

250

142.78

2003

60

2,500

455.00

2004

25

100

58.33

2005

80

300

155.00

2006

25

240

103.75

2007

25

100

65.83

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. 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.

When a case is referred to Court, the amount of the fine is based not only on the nature of the offence and mitigation presented, but also on the Defendant’s ability to pay. The Court will establish the latter by way of the Statement of Means which is a questionnaire designed to clarify the Defendant’s income and outgoings.