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Cannabis Arrests 2017 – 2020 (12A/20)


  1. The number of cautions given due to cannabis in each calendar year from 2017 to 2020, inclusive to the present day, and separated by ethnicity and age.
  2. The number of arrests for cannabis possession in each calendar year from 2017 to 2020, inclusive to the present day and separated by ethnicity and age.
  3. The number of arrests for cannabis supply each calendar year from 2017 to 2020, inclusive to the present day and separated by ethnicity and age.

Clarification of Q1:

I would like the information I highlighted under the following categories:

Possess cannabis

Possess to supply cannabis


Please find attached (attachment 12A_20) our response.

A Police caution for cannabis possession can be issued on the street, or following arrest in custody.  For this reason the custody and crime data has been included for you.

A crime for the cannabis possession offence will be created in the two scenarios, caution administered on the street and a person arrested for the offence. For this reason the crimes will be higher than the custody data and the cautions administered data.

If a person is arrested for an offence it does not necessarily mean they have then gone on to be charged or cautioned with said offence, you have requested how many were “arrested”, you have figures for all those arrested only – which will have resulted in many different outcomes.

Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of incidents/crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.


attachment 12A_20