United Kingdom

Statistics and other data regarding drug policies in the United Kingdom, covering all areas including public safety/criminal justice, treatment, harm reduction, prevention, and public health. Please note: the United Kingdom section includes data for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland does its own separate data reporting, so Scotland has a chapter of its own.

Characteristics of Youth in Treatment, England

(Characteristics of Youth in Treatment, England)
"— The majority of young people accessing specialist services did so with problems for cannabis (64%) or alcohol (29%) as their primary substance
"— 80% of young people accessing specialist services stated they were living with their family or other relatives. 7% stated they had an accommodation status of either living in care or living independently as a looked after child

Youth Clients in Treatment by Referral Source, England

(Youth Clients in Treatment by Referral Source, England)
"— 20,688 young people accessed specialist substance misuse services in 2011-12. This is a decrease of 1,267 individuals (5.8%) since 2010-11 and a decrease of 2,840 individuals (12.1%) since 2009-10
"— The most common routes into specialist substance misuse services were from youth offending teams (34%) and mainstream education (15%)"

Treatment Clients by Primary Substance, England

(Treatment Clients by Primary Substance, England) "81% of clients were opiates users, of which two thirds reported adjunctive crack cocaine use. The majority of remaining drug users were in treatment for powder cocaine (5%), cannabis (8%) or crack cocaine (3%) problems (excluding those also citing opiates). Among those aged 18 and over, opiates users in treatment had an average (median) age of 36, while adults in treatment for cocaine had a much lower average (median) age of 29 and those in treatment for cannabis use had an average (median) age of 26.

Prison Inmates by Offense

(Prison Inmates by Offense) "On June 30th 2010 there were 85,002 people in prison custody in England and Wales, 73,305 of whom were adults.341 Of those adult prisoners in custody, 15% were on remand and 85% were sentenced. The most common offence was violence against the person (28%) followed by drug offences (16%), sexual offences (14%) and robbery (11%). Of all prisoners in custody, five per cent were female and 14% were foreign nationals (including those held in Immigration Removal Centres).

Trends in Convictions for Cannabis Offenses in England and Wales

(Trends in Convictions for Cannabis Offenses in England and Wales) "While the number of convictions (at court or cautions) for cannabis possession in 2010 (n=59,750) is 26% lower than in 2003 (n=80,656) before the introduction of the formal warning for cannabis271 in England and Wales, the number has increased by 24% since 2007 (n=48,299) (ST11). This suggests that more punitive sanctions are being used to deal with cannabis possession offences.

Convictions for Drug Offences in the UK

(Convictions for Drug Offences in the UK) "There were 152,451 drug offences where the person was found guilty at court or cautioned in the United Kingdom during 2010 (Table 9.3; ST11). This represents a four per cent increase on the previous year (n=147,013) and resumes the upward trend that was evident between 2005 and 2008. Convictions for almost all drugs apart from cannabis decreased or remained stable with cocaine powder offences decreasing by 11% and ecstasy offences decreasing by 50%. The number of heroin offences remained stable.

Trends in Recorded Drug Crime in the UK

(Trends in Recorded Drug Crime in the UK) "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.

Drug Seizures, England and Wales

(Drug Seizures, England and Wales)
"• There were 216,296 drug seizures by the police and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in England and Wales in 2011/12, a two per cent increase on 2010/11.
"• Class A seizures decreased by five per cent between 2010/11 and 2011/12, to 33,481. Class B seizures rose by three per cent to 181,011, while class C seizures fell by eight per cent to 6,915.

Strip Searches of Arrestees, England

(Strip Searches of Arrestees, England) "One study on the role of closed circuit television in a London police station emphasizes the potential for abuse and discrimination when police officers have discretion to strip search detainees.174 From May 1999 to September 2000, officers in the station processed over 7000 arrests.175 The station’s policy allowed officers of the same sex to conduct strip searches only if they felt it was necessary to remove drugs or a harmful object.176