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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

December 6, 2005: Cocaine Use Rising, LSD Use Declines

A new Home Office Statistical Bulletin with data on known drug offences and offenders in England and Wales in 2004 has just been published. The bulletin, entitled 'Drug Offenders in England and Wales 2004', Lungowe Mwenda, provides information on police cautions, court proceedings and HM Revenue and Customs compounding (where payment is made of a compound settlement in lieu of prosecution for minor cannabis possession offences) for drug offences.

There were 105,570 drug offences recorded in England and Wales in 2004. This represents a 21% fall from the 133,970 offences recorded in 2003. Drugs are divided into three classes (A, B and C) according to their harmfulness. Class A offences rose by 2% to 36,350. There were 7,260 class B offences and 59,050 class C offences in 2004. Cannabis was re-classified from being a class B to a class C drug. in January 2004, rendering most cannabis possession non-arrestable.

Most drug offenders are male; in 2004, only12% of drug offenders were female.

The number of drug offenders sentenced at court during 2003 and 2004 was 73,180 and 55,880 respectively, a fall of 24%. This is due to a general decrease across most drug types, including: heroin (-5%); LSD (-12%); methadone (-7%); and cannabis (-39%).

There were 33,470 cautions given for drug offences in 2004, a 28% fall from 2003.

Cocaine use is growing quickly, while LSD use is declining. Cocaine possession offenders made up 8% of all drug offenders in 2004, with cocaine dealers making up an additional 2%. 2% of known drugs offenders were dealt with for cocaine offences in 1994 years ago, rising to 10% in 2004 (8,070). Crack offenders have been reported separately from cocaine since 1994 when there were 370 crack offenders. There are now 2,440 crack offenders in 2004 (3% of all drugs offenders). In 1994, LSD accounted for 2% of all drug offenders (1,660 offenders) but the number has shrunk under 1% in 2004 (130 offenders).

Most of those (almost 85%) dealt with for drug offences in 2004 related to drug possession; 56% related specifically to cannabis. 13% of all drug offenders (10,040 offenders) were dealt with for heroin drug offences in 2004.

Cautions (44%) were the most common disposal used for possession offences in 2004. Dealing offences accounted for 14% of all drug offenders in 2004. The number of dealing offenders rose 2% in 2004 to 10,800 from 10,630 in 2003.

While offences involving possession tend to be committed by those under the age of 25 (53%), offences involving tend to be committed by people aged over 25 (60%). Unlawful production/import/export offences committed by people aged 30 or over (61%).

The most commonly used disposal for convicted dealing offenders in 2004 was immediate custody (61%). Community sentences were used in 17% of cases.