Number of drug offences in England and Wales 2002-2019

For the period between 2002/03 and 2018/19 drug offences in England and Wales peaked in 2008/09 when there was over 243 thousand of these offences. Since the peak in that year the number of drug offences has declined, with 2017/18 having the fewest number of offences.

Cannabis involved in highest number of seizures
In 2017/18 the police seized Cannabis over 94 thousand times almost half what they seized in 2008/09 when there were almost 183 thousand cannabis seizures made. While the current government has no plans to legalize the drug, a majority of UK citizens surveyed in 2018 thought that the drug should be legal, with 68 percent of 18 to 24 year old’s supporting its legalization.

Regional drug seizure rate
London was the region with the highest drug seizure rate in England and Wales in 2017/18 at 3.5 thousand seizures per million people, followed by the North East of England, and then Wales. By contrast the North West of England had the lowest of any region, with 1.25 thousand seizures per million people in the same year.

Number of drug offences in England and Wales from 2002/03 to 2018/19

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Release date

July 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2019

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Statistics on "Cannabis in the UK"

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