I am sending this request under the Freedom of Information Act.
This 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) 2010, b) 2011, c) 2012, d) 2013, e) 2014 and f) 2015 so far:
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
2. Please also send copies of all guidance issued to officers relating to Cannabis offences since 1 Jan 2012.
Please find attached our response.
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of 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.