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Drugs: Misuse

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 208713, tabled on 9 September 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many previous convictions at the time of sentence each offender sentenced to immediate custody for a single offence of possession of (a) class A, (b) class B and (c) class C drugs had in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Answered on

18 November 2014

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

Drug offending is serious in itself and drug abuse also underlies a huge volume of acquisitive and violent crime which can blight communities. Previous convictions, where they are recent and relevant, must be treated as an aggravating factor by the courts and will make the sentence more severe. The independent Sentencing Council issued a sentencing guideline on drug offences, effective from February 2012, which brought sentencing guidance together for the first time to help to ensure consistent and proportionate sentencing for all drug offences that come before courts.

The table below shows the number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody for the possession of (a) class A, (b) class B and (c) class C drugs offence in England and Wales, for the 12 months ending March 2014, by the number of previous convictions.

Original answer

Drug offending is serious in itself and drug abuse also underlies a huge volume of acquisitive and violent crime which can blight communities. Previous convictions, where they are recent and relevant, must be treated as an aggravating factor by the courts and will make the sentence more severe. The independent Sentencing Council issued a sentencing guideline on drug offences, effective from February 2012, which brought sentencing guidance together for the first time to help to ensure consistent and proportionate sentencing for all drug offences that come before courts.

The table below shows the number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody for the possession of (a) class A, (b) class B and (c) class C drugs offence in England and Wales, for the 12 months ending March 2014, by the number of previous convictions.