The UK Telegraph reports
Cannabis is being decriminalised by the back door as prosecutions have fallen by a 3rd in the previous decade, new figures present.
Police knowledge, analysed by House of Commons researchers, reveals the variety of offences for possession of hashish fell from 160,733 in 2010/11 to 110,085 in 2019/20.
Less than 1 / 4 of these offences led to a cost, with almost a 3rd (32 per cent) leading to a group decision, the place the particular person doesn’t get a prison file.
The development comes as two policing chiefs joined Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, in calling for a evaluation into whether or not hashish needs to be legalised – a proposal slapped down yesterday by Boris Johnson as Downing Street mentioned he had “absolutely no intention” of adjusting the regulation.
However, a ballot of two,000 adults, revealed on Tuesday by The Telegraph, reveals that 47 per cent of the public back legalising the manufacturing, distribution, sale and possession of hashish versus 30 per cent opposed. Twenty three per cent didn’t categorical an opinion in the survey by Electoral Calculus.
Arfon Jones, police and crime commissioner for North Wales, mentioned police forces have been more and more utilizing “diversion” schemes to cope with hashish possession to keep away from criminalising younger individuals.
It means an offender is not prosecuted in the event that they admit their guilt and comply with bear different remedy, schooling or coaching.
“Diversion is another word for decriminalisation,” Mr Jones informed The Telegraph. “We can do that within the law as it stands. We have the discretion to deal with offenders. If we want to divert them, we can do that. We are beyond decriminalisation. We are already doing that.”
Instead, he mentioned there wanted to be a evaluation of the legalisation of hashish to see how “regulation of the drugs market is done” in nations akin to the US, Canada, Portugal and Uruguay. “The evidence is out there. We just need to pick up on that and have a pilot,” he mentioned.
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s police and crime commissioner and a former police superintendent, mentioned hashish possession wanted to be handled as a “health issue rather than a criminal issue”.
Society ought to recognise criminalisation had not stopped individuals taking the drug, he mentioned. “It needs to be regulated in the same way as vodka or anything like that, and probably quite strictly. We need to take the criminal element out of it so we can treat and help people,” he mentioned.
Chief constables together with Dave Thompson, in the West Midlands, and Mike Barton, the not too long ago retired head of Durham police, certainly one of the most profitable forces in the nation, have advocated “welfare-first” approaches to hashish possession to keep away from giving younger customers prison information.
Mr Khan introduced on Monday he plans an impartial London medicine fee to look at the potential well being, financial and prison justice advantages of decriminalising the class-B drug. Police chiefs say such a transfer might launch resources to focus on the organised criminals behind the drug chains.