Stats: 1 in 10 drug offenders are kids

More than 100 children are convicted of drug offences every week, shocking figures from the Ministry of Justice have shown.

Separate figures also show one in ten drug offenders is a child, a figure double the proportion when Labour came to power.

The Government has come under fire for its drugs policies, with its £10 billion ‘harm reduction’ drugs plan lambasted as a failure last year.

Rise

The new figures show that of 52,664 drug offences in 2008, teenagers and even younger children committed 6,370.

And statistics on the number of children admitted to hospital because of substance abuse have also risen by 25 per cent since 1998-99.

Around 13,000 children were admitted for substance abuse in 2009, with over 1,000 of those aged under ten.

Prosecution

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “What clearer sign can there be of a broken society than thousands of children receiving hospital treatment for substance abuse.

“More and more children are also facing prosecution for drugs offences.”

The Government came under fire last year after FRANK, its drugs helpline aimed at young people, said that taking cannabis was less harmful than alcohol.

Danger

One FRANK adviser, when asked about the dangers of ecstasy, told the caller to “take a half of one and see how you go and if you are handling that ok, you can take the other half”.

And in August FRANK was slammed for giving out-of-date advice about cannabis on its website.

Just last week official figures showed the number of children in England being treated for cocaine addiction has increased by 65 per cent since 2005.

Waste

In May a study said that the Government had wasted £10 billion of taxpayers’ money on its fruitless ‘harm reduction’ approach to drugs.

Kathy Gyngell, a drugs expert and author of the report, said people were being trapped in “state-sponsored addiction”.

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