Cannabis arrests down by almost 50 per cent

The number of arrests being made for cannabis possession has fallen by 46 per cent since 2010, according to the BBC.

This is despite evidence that cannabis use has remained roughly the same.

Between 2010 and 2015 the number of arrests made fell from 35,367 to 19,115 in England and Wales.


The broadcaster requested information from 43 police forces and 32 forces responded with full data.

In addition to the fall in arrests, the data also showed that police cautions for cannabis possession fell from 9,633 in 2010 to 5,036 in 2015, a drop of 48 per cent.

The number of people charged for possession fell from 15,366 to 10,220 over the same period, a drop of 33 per cent.

According to the BBC, crime survey data indicates that the number of people using cannabis has remained roughly the same since 2010.

Liberal approach

The BBC highlighted one police force which has adopted a more liberal approach towards people who use the drug.

Last year, Durham Police announced that it would cease investigating cannabis users, including people who grow it for personal use.

Chief Constable Mike Barton said that the move had “freed up our staff to deal with things that are more important”.


Barton’s stance on drugs was called in to question last month when it emerged that he co-authored a report calling for the legalisation of cannabis.

The report, also drafted by the chair of the National Cannabis Coalition, was backed by the Liberal Democrats.

The Home Office has said that all crimes reported to the police should be taken seriously, followed up on and, if necessary, taken through the courts.

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