Drug law offences

Overview of the data  |  Tables  |  Methods and definitions

Overview of the data

The link above gives access to the tables in the bulletin in the section dealing with drug law offences, as well as to a description of the methods and definitions used in compiling this data. A brief overview is provided below. See also the side navigation bar for links to all chapters.

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 and Norway.

Summary points 

Between 1998 and 2003, the number of ‘reports’ of drug law offences increased overall in the EU. However, decreases were reported in 2003 in Belgium, Spain, Italy (since 2001), Hungary, Malta, Austria and Slovenia (since 2002). Table DLO-01 gives, by country, an 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).

Table DLO-2 gives for 2003/2001 by country the offence type categorised by use/possession for use, dealing/trafficking/both; Table DLO-3 similarly shows for 2003/2002 by country the drugs mentioned in the offences.

In most of the Member States, 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 2003 accounted for 39 % to 87 % of all drug law offences. The Netherlands and the Czech Republic stand as exceptions with respectively ‘hard drugs’ (e.g heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD) (58 %) and amphetamines (48 %) predominating in drug law offences.

Tables Table DLO-5, Table DLO-6 and Table DLO-7 give, by country, historically over the medium term, the percentage of drug law offences that specify cannabis, heroin and cocaine respectively.

Over 1998 to 2003, the proportion of drug offences involving cannabis has been increasing or has remained stable in all reporting EU countries, except Italy and Austria which reported downward trends. During this period the proportion of heroin-related offences decreased in all reporting EU countries, except Austria and the United Kingdom, where it increased. In contrast, cocaine-related offences have increased as a proportion of all drug offences since 1998 in all reporting EU countries except Germany, which reported downward trends.