Cannabis arrests (1366A/21)
This Freedom of Information request relates to the following offences set out in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971:
i. Possession of Cannabis – s.5(1) of the Act;
ii. Possession of Cannabis with intent to supply – s.5(3) of the Act.
1. For each of these two offences separately, please supply the following data broken down by each year a) 2017, b) 2018, c) 2019, d) 2020, e) 2021:
a) The total number of individuals arrested by your force
b) The total number of individuals cautioned by your force
c) The total number of individuals charged by your force
d) The total number of individuals prosecuted by your force
2. This next question relates to section 6 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 which states cultivation is prohibited without holding a valid licence granted by the Home Office.
i) How many cannabis grows have been discovered with 9 plants or less for the following years:
a) 2016. B) 2017 c)2018 d) 2019 e) 2020 f) 2021?
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
Unfortunately, due to a major change in West Midlands Police recording systems, the information that you have requested for data beyond 5th April 2021 cannot be retrieved. Therefore we are unable to provide the information for this part of your request.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.
We are unable to provide the amount of people prosecuted, as this would mean assessing each individuals PNC record to locate the prosecution data.
The number of cannabis grow with 9 plants or less, is information that is not recorded in a retrievable format, every individual crime would need to be assessed to see if the number of plants was mentioned in the MO of the crime. Often the number of plants is not recorded here but only in the actual court file. To evaluate all of this information would exceed the cost limitations.
Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (attached file 1366A – 21). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.