Drug Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2017-18

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published Drugs Seizures and Offender Characteristics, 2017-18. 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 2017-18 were heroin (118.6 kilograms), cocaine (74.4 kilograms) and crack cocaine (6.7 kilograms). Police Scotland also seized approximately 25,400 ecstasy-type tablets.

Again for crimes of drug supply, the main Class B drugs seized by Police Scotland in 2017-18 were cannabis resin (625.0 kilograms) and herbal cannabis (553.4 kilograms). They also seized over 16,000 cannabis plants. For Class C drugs, the main drugs seized were 321,000 diazepam or other benzodiazepine tablets (excluding etizolam) and 264,000 etizolam tablets.

A sample of drug possession crime for 2017-18 estimated that 54% of drug possession crimes involved herbal cannabis or cannabis resin, with 10% for cocaine, 9% for heroin and 6% each for diazepam and etizolam.

In 2017-18, the vast majority of drug possession offenders were male (86%). The median age of an offender was 30 years old, with almost two thirds (64%) being between 20 and 39 years old.


The full statistical publication can be accessed online.

Contact: Richard Clarke - 0131 244 3069 / 07467 447 253 


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