Drug offences

During 2015, approximately 94,000 offences under the Drug Penalties Act were reported. During the most recent ten years, the number of reports have increased by 41 per cent.

Reported drug offences

Number of reported drug offences, 2006 – 2015. Source: Reported offences

In 2015, the number of reported offences under the Drug Penalties Act declined to 94,000 offences (-1%). Drug offences are among the categories of offence where the number of reported offences is highly dependent on police surveillance and intervention activities. During the 2000s, the police's efforts in the area intensified, which has shown a breakthrough effect in the statistic. The number of reported drug offences increased steadily until 2013, after which it has declined. During the most recent decade, the number of drug offences increased by 41 per cent.

Cleared drug offences

Person-based clearance rate²) for drug offences, 2006 – 2015. Source: Processed offences

Processed offences

In 2015, 95,700 drug offences (sections 1-3 of the Drug Penalties Act) were processed.¹) Investigations were commenced for 96 per cent (92,100) of the processed offences, while 4 per cent (3,550 offences) were dismissed with no investigation.

Investigations were limited for 9 per cent (8,680 offences) of the processed drug offences. Of those, investigation was limited in almost all (8,660 offences) after an investigation was commenced.

There was one person reasonably suspected of the offence in 92 per cent (87,800 offences) of the processed offences. Drug offences are most often detected through the police's surveillance work, and, in most cases, a perpetrator has already been identified at the time of the police report. As a result, a large percentage have person-based clearances. In total, 50,700 offences in 2015 had person-based clearances.

The person-based clearance rate² for processed drug offences in 2015 was 53 per cent.

Persons suspected of drug offences

Number of persons suspected of drug offences, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons suspected of offences

Persons suspected of offences

As is the case with road traffic offences, the number of persons suspected of drug offences is highly dependent upon the efforts of the police, customs authorities, and other justice system public authorities. During the 2000s, police efforts in the area intensified, which had a breakthrough effect in both the number of reported and cleared offences, as well as on the number of persons suspected of offences. In 2015, 28,500 persons were registered as suspected of drug offences, which is an increase of 361 persons, or 1 per cent, as compared with 2014. As compared with 2006, the number of persons suspected of drug offences has increased by 42 per cent.

Persons found guilty of offences of drug offences

Number of conviction decisions of offences under the Drug Penalties Act as the primary offence, 2006 – 2015. Source: Persons found guilty of offences

Convictions

In 2015, there were 21,400 conviction decisions³) of offences under the Drug Penalties Act as the primary offence. This is a reduction by 0.5 per cent, or 59 decisions, as compared with the preceding year. The number of conviction decisions regarding ordinary level drug offences and aggravated drug offences are, essentially, at the same level as during 2014.

As compared with 2006, however, there has been a 53 per cent (7,440 decisions) increase. The primary increase has been in conviction decisions in respect of minor drug offences, which increased by 62 per cent, or 6,860 decisions, in ten years.

Drug offences are typically a surveillance crime and, in normal cases, the number of conviction decisions in respect of drug offences is largely explained by changes in, above all, police resources and prioritisation.

¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.

²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.

  • The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences.
  • The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.

³) The statistic regarding persons found guilty of offences reports the number of convictions which were issued during the year. "Conviction decision" means a conviction in a district court or decision of a public prosecutor, such as a summary sanction order or waiver of prosecution, during one calendar year. A single individual may be found guilty of an offence in different ways and on several occasions during one year. A conviction decision may contain decisions regarding several offences and several sanctions.

Fakta

  • 94,000 reported offences under the Drug Penalties Act (2015)
  • 28,500 persons were suspected of drug offences (2015)
  • 87 per cent of the person suspected of drug offences are men (2015)
  • 53 per cent = person-based clearance rate for drug offences (2015)
  • 2 per cent of the convictions were for aggravated drug offences (2009)