"The number of recorded drug crimes in the UK decreased by one per cent in 2011/12 (Table 9.1). There were variations across the UK with increases in Northern Ireland (8%) and Scotland (2%) and a decrease in England and Wales (-2%). In Scotland the increase was for possession offences with a decrease in trafficking offences while in Northern Ireland there were increases for both possession and trafficking offences. In England and Wales the decrease in possession offences was mainly for drugs other than cannabis while in Northern Ireland the increase in possession offences was mainly accounted for by an increase in cannabis offences. In England and Wales the number of possession offences for both cannabis and other drugs peaked in 2008/09. The decrease in recorded drug offences in England and Wales since 2008/09 coincides with the end of the national target regime for police (Chaplin et al. 2011). This demonstrates the impact of police priorities on recorded drug offences."


UK Focal Point on Drugs, "United Kingdom Drug Situation 2012 Edition: Annual Report to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)" (London, England: UK Government, Department of Health, October 31, 2012), p. 150.