People being prosecuted for possession on the rise.

Number of heroin and cocaine prosecutions soars

Published Date: 03 January 2011
THE number of people being prosecuted for possession of heroin or cocaine has risen by more than 50 per cent in a year.
A total of 288 people were prosecuted in the Lothians and Borders for possession of either cocaine or heroin in 2008-9 compared with 184 in the previous year, new figures show.

Across Scotland as a whole the number of people prosecuted for possession of heroin rose by 17.5 per cent and cocaine by 27 per cent.

Prosecution for the possession of ecstasy decreased by 42 per cent. The figures were revealed following a parliamentary question by Lib Dem MSP Robert Brown.

He said: “It is extremely worrying that prosecutions have risen for possession of illegal and harmful drugs in Scotland since last year, and there are particularly worrying hikes in offence numbers in certain parts of the country.

“In Dumfries and Galloway alone, heroin prosecutions have more than doubled and in Lothian and Borders they are up more than 50 per cent.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “The prosecution of individual cases is a matter for the Crown Office.

“But Scotland is making significant progress in getting drugs off our streets. Since 2008-9, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency has seized over 1100kg of Class A drugs with an estimated street value of over £64 million.”

Earlier this year, a United Nations report showed 3.9 per cent of Scots now frequently use cocaine – the highest level of abuse in the world.

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