Publication - FOI/EIR release

Drug possession offences under Section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs act (1971): FOI release

Published: 10 Jan 2022

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
10 Jan 2022
Drug possession offences under Section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs act (1971): FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100252137
Date received: 5 Nov 2021
Date responded: 3 Dec 2021
Information requested
  • How many individuals residing in Scotland have a record with Disclosure Scotland following a conviction of possession of illicit substances, without the intent to supply, under Section 5 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971).
  • For these cases, could you please also provide breakdowns of the expiry dates for the record held.

We contacted you to seek further clarification on the following:

Are you happy for us to base their location on the current address we have on record for these individuals? Response: I’m happy for you to use current addresses on record for location.

Record with Disclosure Scotland: Does this mean any instance where the offence has appeared on any level of certificate, or any instance where Disclosure Scotland has recorded this offence on our inhouse systems, whether it has appeared on a certificate or not? Response: Please give me every instance where Disclosure Scotland has recorded this offence on its in-house systems.

Expiry date: Does this mean any time an offence would no longer appear on any level of certificate (e.g. spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act), or whether it would be deleted from central police records? Response: I would be grateful if you could break this down into records which have appeared on a certificate and those who have not.

Response

Below is a copy of the requested information. 

The answer to your question is:
Disclosure Scotland moved to a self-managed IT system in 2018, replacing its legacy BT managed system. Therefore, for the purposes of this request we deem ‘people with a record containing the relevant conviction’ to mean only individuals existing in our current system, and not anyone whose information may have been held on legacy systems, but is no longer searchable. In addition to this, note that for the purposes of this exercise, we looked at all convictions relating to 'Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 Section 5’, save for 'Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971 Section 5(3)’ given this is defined as possession with intent to supply.

In terms of your ask, we can advise that as of 26/11/2021:

  • Disclosure Scotland currently holds on system 10,174 people with the stated conviction
  • This conviction has been seen on 15,242 cases within DS systems [1]
  • This conviction has been seen on 11,438 application cases within DS systems [2]

[1] a case can be a result of a Disclosure Application, information sent from the police to DS on an existing individual, or referral from a court or organisation
[2] only Application cases result in issuing of a Disclosure Certificate, where the relevant conviction may or may not be disclosed

Breakdown detail for such convictions by year convicted and whether the conviction was, or was not, included on the Disclosure Certificate can be found below.

5 Year Period

Times Disclosed

Times Not Disclosed

2017‐2021

763

3,694

2012‐2016

876

2,329

2007‐2011

200

2,994

2002‐2006

97

3,467

1997‐2001

33

901

1992‐1997

10

186

1987‐1991

8

78

<1987

4

54

Total

1,991

13,703

About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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Edinburgh
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