Drug law offences

Overview of the data  |  Tables  |  Graphics  |  Methods and definitions

Overview of the data

The tables in this section monitor over time the numbers of reports of drug law offences for each country that provided data. Tables include data from the EU Member States, candidate countries and Norway.

(1995 to 2004)Over 1999–2004, the number of ‘reports’ of drug law offences increased overall in all reporting countries except Italy and Portugal. See Figure DLO-1 part (i) for EU-15 and Figure DLO-1 part (ii) for new EU Member States). Table DLO-1 gives, by country, a historical perspective of the development of the number of reports for drug law offences in the medium term in Table DLO-1 part (i) and over a longer period in Table DLO-1 part (ii) (1985 to 2004). Table DLO-2 gives for 2004 by country the percentage of offence type categorised by use/possession for use, dealing/trafficking/both.

In most countries, the majority of reported drug law offences are related to drug use or possession for use.

Over the period 1999 to 2004, the number of offences for use/possession for use increased overall in all reporting countries, except Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Turkey, which reported a declining trend. The share of these offences among all drug law offences also increased over 1999 to 2004 in most reporting countries, except Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Bulgaria and Turkey (see Table DLO-4 and Table DLO-5).They give, by country, the medium-term historical changes in the proportion of drug law offences that are related to use or possession for use of drugs.

In most countries, cannabis is the illicit drug most often involved in reported drug law offences. In the countries where this is the case, cannabis-related offences in 2004 accounted for 34–87 % of all drug law offences. In the Czech Republic and Lithuania, amphetamines-related offences predominated; while in Luxembourg cocaine is the most reported substance. See Table DLO-3 for all drug law offences and Table DLO-6 for cannabis-related offences.

In 1999–2004, the number of drug law offences involving cannabis increased overall in the majority of reporting countries, while decreases were reported in Italy and Slovenia. Over the same period, the proportion of drug offences involving cannabis increased in Germany, Spain, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria, while it remained stable overall in Ireland and the Netherlands, and decreased in Belgium, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden (see Table DLO-6 and Figure DLO-3 part (i) (for EU-15) and Figure DLO-3 part (ii) (for new EU Member States)).

Although in all reporting countries (except in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria and for a few years in Belgium) cannabis is more predominant in offences for use/possession than in other drug law offences, the proportion of use-related offences involving cannabis has decreased since 1999 in several countries, and has fallen over the last year (2003–04) in most reporting countries.

Over 1999 to 2004, both the number of ‘reports’ and/or the proportion of drug law offences involving heroin decreased in the majority of reporting countries, except Belgium, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden (see Table DLO-7 and Figure DLO-5 part (i) (for EU-15) and Figure DLO-5 part (ii) (for new EU Member States)).

The opposite trend can be observed for cocaine-related offences: in terms of both number of ‘reports’ and the proportion of all drug offences, cocaine-related offences have increased since 1999 in most reporting countries. Bulgaria is the only country to report a downward trend in cocaine offences (both numbers and proportions of drug offences) (see Table DLO-8 and Figure DLO-4 part (i) (for EU-15) and Figure DLO-4 part (ii) (for new EU Member States)).