Cannabis

Home Department written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the average cost of arresting and charging people for cannabis possession in the last 12 months.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

It can take on average three hours of a police officer's time to arrest and charge a person for possession of cannabis. There were 81,380 cannabis possession offences in 1999. A police constable's basic salary cost in England and Wales falls within the range of £12 to £14 per hour, therefore the annual cost is in the region of £2,929,680 to £3,417,960.

In assessing the costs, it is important to remember that arrests for cannabis possession may be incidental to other police action.

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