News

Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2016-17

Published: 27 Mar 2018 10:13

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Drugs Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2016-17. The publication provides information on drug seizures made by the police in Scotland and the characteristics of those found in possession of drugs.

The quantity of drugs seized can fluctuate considerably each year and does not necessarily move in line with the number of seizures made. Whilst most drug seizures consist of relatively small quantities (usually possession-related crimes), annual quantities of drugs seized can be greatly influenced by a small number of large seizures (usually from supply-related crimes).

For crimes of drug supply, the main Class A drugs seized by Police Scotland in 2016-17 were heroin (54.1 kilograms), cocaine (120.3 kilograms) and crack cocaine (5.2 kilograms). In addition Police Scotland also seized 8,600 ecstasy-type tablets.

Again for crimes of drug supply, the main Class B drugs seized by Police Scotland in 2016-17 were herbal cannabis (347.9 kilograms) and cannabis resin (322.1 kilograms). They also seized over 18,000 cannabis plants. For Class C drugs, the main drug seized was diazepam or other benzodiazepines (approximately 2.2 million tablets).

A sample of drug possession crime for 2016-17 estimated that 60% of drug possession crimes involved herbal cannabis or cannabis resin, with 10% each for cocaine and diazepam.

Over 2014-15 to 2016-17, the vast majority of drug possession offenders were male (86%). The median age of an offender was 29 years old, with almost two thirds (65%) being between 20 and 39 years old.

Background

Read the full statistical publication.