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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18141: Margaret Mitchell (Central Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many cannabis plants have been seized by Police Scotland in each year since 2013-14, broken down by area.

Answered by: Humza Yousaf 29 August 2018

The Scottish Government produces Official Statistics on Drug Seizures recorded by the police in Scotland. The following table shows the number of cannabis plants seized by Police Scotland for each year since 2013-14. Statistics for 2017-18 will be published in the Spring of 2019.

The information Police Scotland provides to the Scottish Government is based on a single force-wide return, as such a breakdown by local area isn’t held centrally. It should be noted that the quantity of drugs seized can fluctuate considerably each year and can be greatly influenced by a small number of large seizures.

Following a change to the collection process for these statistics, from 2014-15 onwards these figures only relate to cannabis plants seized as part of drug supply crimes. However, it is very rare for a crime of drug possession (i.e. where the quantity of drugs seized was small enough to be considered for personal use) to include any quantity of cannabis plants. As such, the figures provided below from 2014-15 onwards will represent the vast majority of plants seized by Police Scotland.

Seizures Cannabis Plants by Police Scotland

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Number of Cannabis Plants seized

23,336

13,022

31,398

18,310

Source: Official Statistics, Drug Seizures & Offender Characteristics