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UK: Cannabis warnings go up by 50 per cent

  1. dutch-marshal
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]UK: Cannabis warnings go up by 50 per cent
    [/FONT]
    The number of people given warnings by police after being caught
    carrying cannabis in London rocketed by nearly 50 per cent in the past year.

    Figures show about 30,000 were given official warnings, compared with
    just over 21,000 issued in 2005/06.

    The Met said today the warnings are "useful and effective" and their
    rising number reflects efforts to tackle crimes such as street robbery
    and burglary.

    A spokesman said: "They are a bi-product of tackling and disrupting
    priority crime as well as dealing with issues raised by communities who
    see cannabis use fuelling anti-social behaviour and other low-level crime.

    "Cannabis warnings are also time efficient in dealing with this crime
    and allow officers to remain on patrol and visible to the public."

    The warnings system was introduced when the Government downgraded
    cannabis from a Class B to a Class C drug three years ago.

    The number of warnings issued in London now makes up more than a third
    of those handed out across the UK.

    But police insiders admit some borough commanders are using the sanction
    to boost crime detection rates.

    Earlier this year, Surrey Chief Constable Bob Quick admitted officers
    were targeting minor offenders, such as shoplifters or people caught
    with cannabis, rather than hardened criminals in order to hit government
    targets. The result was official league tables were misleading, he said.

    Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair recently told the London Assembly: "The
    Met has some understanding of the comments expressed by Mr Quick."

    However, he pointed out that the Met's detection rate for serious
    assaults was running at 33 per cent, the third annual increase in a row.

    But one senior officer said: "There is a serious question over how we
    increase the detection rate. By using cannabis warnings and other means,
    such as fixed penalty notices, we are essentially creating crime to
    solve crime.

    "The result is that we are victimising a significant number of young
    people by targeting them for offences such as cannabis possession."

    The figures show wide variations between London boroughs in the number
    of cannabis warnings issued.

    The biggest total of 3,371 was in Westminster, reflecting the size of
    the area and the high number of anti-terrorist stop and searches carried
    out there.

    Other inner-city boroughs such as Brent, which recorded the second
    highest number of warnings - 1,978 - and Lambeth, Southwark, Camden and
    Hackney all issued higher-than-average numbers. The lowest number of
    warnings - 190 - was recorded in Sutton.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/

Comments

  1. enquirewithin
    If you live in London, hide your stash well when going out!:)
  2. Senor Gribson
    and when has this ever been a problem?
    politics 101: if your police aren't doing a very good job, create a new crime that can easily be enforced. now your police appear to be doing something.
  3. fnord

    wow thats just silly...
  4. rocksmokinmachine
    I never saw cannabis as a priority in the UK. Infact just as few years ago the home office was making it a much lower priority. Now the tables seem to have turned.

    Cannabis is the sort of drug that discourages people from enagaging in anti-social behaviour in my opinion. I have yet to see a cannabis user who has mugged someone or burguled a house for a joint though.
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