UK: Recorded drug offences up a staggering 19% in England and Wales from 2019/20 – 2020/21


ByLine Times reports on the internal war in the UK Labour party about how to manage the “drugs issue” and cannabis specifically after Mayor of London’s announcement he wishes to decriminalize possession   Total recorded drug offences increased in England and Wales by 19% from 2019/20 to 2020/21, with possession of cannabis recording a 21.5% increase, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiled in a new parliamentary report. CBP-9039 “The main drug offence recorded in 2020/21 was ‘possession of cannabis’ (63%), followed by ‘possession of controlled drugs (excluding cannabis)’ (18%), ‘trafficking in controlled drugs’ (18%),” the report states. The statistics are increasingly relevant amid a disagreement between Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer and Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who is considering the effective decriminalisation of cannabis and other Class B drugs in a pilot scheme – employing a method known as ‘diversion’ – that will offer young people counselling or “speeding course-style” classes instead of prosecution. As a Class B drug, the maximum prison sentence for possession of cannabis is currently five years. 14,900 penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) were issued in 2020/21, with possession of cannabis the second most common reason for a PND after a person being ‘drunk and disorderly’. 25% fewer PNDs were issued in 2020/21 than in 2019/20 and 60% fewer than five years ago. However, while custodial sentences for most crimes have been falling for the past decade, a greater proportion of drug offences are receiving prison sentences. According to the parliamentary report, between 2008/09 and 2019/20, the proportion of drug offenders receiving a caution fell from 46% to 30%, while the proportion receiving a custodial sentence increased from 9% to 16%. This goes against the general trend for all offences whereby the number of people sentenced immediately to prison is falling.…

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Source : UK: Recorded drug offences up a staggering 19% in England and Wales from 2019/20 – 2020/21

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