We’ll get more detail about drug use in the next week or so, but today the Home Office have published one of their regular bulletins about crime in England and Wales. As part of this they say:
Drug offences recorded by the police decreased by 2 per cent in 2011/12 compared with the previous year. Since 2002/03 the number of offences recorded has increased by 60 per cent to 229,103 in 2011/12 and by 18 per cent from 2006/07. The number of drugs offences recorded by the police is heavily dependent on police activities and priorities. As a result changes over time may reflect changes in the policing of drug crime rather than real changes in its incidence.
They point out that possession of cannabis offences accounted for around 70 per cent of all police recorded drug offences.
The bulletin also has some data about people’s perceptions of anti-social behaviour, including whether people think that people in their area are using or dealing drugs, and whether teenagers are hanging around on the street. As you’ll see the figures for teenagers hanging around have been steadily coming down, but the perception of drug use and dealing seems stuck – though the percentage of those who had actually seen drug use or dealing was much lower at 3%.
There are some new questions this year and the Home Office report:
Around one in nine respondents said they had personally experienced or witnessed drink related anti-social behaviour (12 per cent) and groups hanging around on the streets in their local area (11 per cent).