Steep fall in cannabis offences points to silent relaxation of drugs policy

Police cite shrinking budgets and reduced stop and search, as possession offences recorded in England and Wales drop by almost a third
The Guardian (UK)
Sunday, October 18, 2015

uk-stop-searchThe number of cannabis possession offences in England and Wales has plummeted since 2011 as forces divert shrinking budgets into tackling more serious crime and officers rein in stop and search. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal offences – including penalty notices, cautions, charges and summons – fell by almost a third from a peak of 145,400 in 2011-12 to 101,905 in 2014-15. The figures include all cannabis possession offences, not just those that led to arrests or prosecutions. The fall in offences cannot be explained by police opting for quick cautions over lengthy prosecutions. (See also: The other green belt)