Suffolk: PCC questions value of cannabis warnings as figures show more than one issued a day

More than one cannabis warning issued a day in Suffolk in the last four years More than one cannabis warning issued a day in Suffolk in the last four years

Friday, January 3, 2014
9:00 AM

More than one person a day has received a cannabis street warning in Suffolk over the past four years.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Figures released by Suffolk Constabulary show that from the beginning of 2010 until September this year 1,573 cannabis warnings were issued.

The verbal warnings are given by police officers to those found in possession of cannabis for the first time, they are recorded on a police database but do not constitute a criminal conviction and don’t go on the guilty party’s criminal record.

377 cannabis warnings were issued in Suffolk in 2010; 485 were issued in 2011; 412 were issued in 2012; and 299 were issued up to the end of August in 2013.

However Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, questioned the value of the warnings in tackling drug use.

He said the scale of cannabis possession demonstrated by the figures was “cause for concern”.

“It’s something I will be taking up with the Chief Constable in person to make sure that the Constabulary is doing what it can about substance misuse,” he said.

Mr Passmore said drug use was often closely related to other crimes such as burglary and shoplifting as well as sexual assault and violence.

He questioned whether the system of using cannabis warnings was deterring people from using drugs.

“I’m not sure that it is,” he said.

“I’ve always been a believer in giving people a second chance… but I want to be sure that this isn’t being seen as a soft option.

“I need to be convinced that this method is actually working and I’m sceptical at the moment.

“We need to be pretty tough in dealing with drugs culture because it’s not acceptable.

“We spend a fortune of taxpayer’s money on drugs treatment but if we stopped them taking drugs in the first place we could use that money elsewhere,” he said.

“You are not going to cure the problem by giving out the wrong message. We need to be sending a really tough message and I’m not sure that we are.”

In guidelines issued in 2009 the Association of Chief Police Officers recommended the use of cannabis street warnings as the first sanction for possession of cannabis unless there were exceptional circumstances, in a process referred to as ‘escalation’.

Suffolk Constabulary explained the use of cannabis warnings: “When an individual is stopped and they are found to be in possession of cannabis police will carry out checks to establish whether they have been found to be in possession of cannabis previously.

“The way the individual is dealt with will be dependent on the amount of cannabis found, previous convictions and any intelligence in connection with that individual.

“Where appropriate a cannabis street warning will be given.”

22 comments

  • Only way to deal with drugs is to legalise them all . This will eliminate overnight a dramatic amount of Police and customs time . The Drugs could legally be produced and sold under licence , tax would be paid by the sale and manufature etc . It would also eliminate a great deal of the lawe breaking that goes hand in hand with it and the gang culture etc etc YOU WILL NEVER STOP THE DRUGS TRADE WHATEVER LAWS ARE IN PLACE

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Perhaps we should go down the Colorado route and legalise it for recreational use. That way the government can tax it and use the funds to help those who are taking serious drugs to get off. I know the single minded drugs are drugs brigade will not agree, but lets face up to it, they are here and here to stay.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • I guess Tim Passmore must have got a copy of Reefer Madness for Christmas. He also plays the usual prohibitionists trick of conflating cannabis with all other illegal drugs and just comes across as an ignorant fool. And Matthew Symington - why don't you attempt some proper balanced journalism? Just days after cannabis was legalised in Colorado, and considering the huge numbers of people (including some, perhaps many, of your readers) who use it without problems, you could have at least mentioned the other side of the story.

    Report this comment

    Mark Gale

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Mr Passmore would do well to read this: http:www.opendemocracy.netdarryl-bicklerreally-breaking-taboo-ending-war-on-right-to-choose He might find himself questioning his motives.

    Report this comment

    PJ McNeill

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

  • Tim Passmore you tit ! you aren't fit to be a police commissioner , if this is your reality of cannabis it shows that you aren't a member of the real world, just look at Colorado, Washington State, Uruguay ,Holland,Spain ,Portugal ,etc etc etc. cannabis warnings are in themselves a complete waste of time, it's peoples right to consume whatever plants they choose to, not yours and your failed system.to stop them,Go and fight real crime and stop rolling out nonsensical lies. Sexual assault, violence....ha ha ha ha

    Report this comment

    Dugwan

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • What a joke... 'drug use was often closely related to other crimes such as burglary and shoplifting as well as sexual assault and violence'. Please someone do some research about cannabis & stop all this b** s***! How naive can people be. Yes people shouldn't be smoking on the streets, it's wrong, but what respectable and intelligent people do in their own homes is their business (as long as they are not hurting anyone). I know smokers who have smoked for years, have obtained degrees, have professional jobs & are well respected in their communities. Please concentrate on the real problems in society instead of all this ill-informed nonsense!

    Report this comment

    KCK

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • If it is so common, maybe it is the law that needs to be changed. The government could literally make billions off taxing cannabis. For whatever reason they don't. I've never had somebody start a fight with me whilst under the influence of cannabis...

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • OH, IT'S ILLEGAL!? I better stop smoking it, don't want to end up with a couple of policemen stuck in the 20th century smacking the back of my hand. Naughty me.

    Report this comment

    Joey Kelly

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Tim Passmore is the waist of our money and time not the real police

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

  • Everyone know it illegal and yet they still do it anyway. So why on earth do they think a 'warning' is going to stop people.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • What people do not realise is that cannabis today is nothing like the stuff grandpa used to smoke in the 60's, the THC content is ridiculously high these days, something like 600% stronger than the bit of pot50 years ago. This stuff will cause severe long term damage, mental health issues and paranoia. Alcohol costs more to the NHS and polce than drugs ever will, links to liverheart problems amongst other, police time wasted dealing with the ridiculous drink culture in this country linked to violent crime and minor disorder. I do not profess to hold the answer to the age old problem of drug use, all I can say is that there is a direct coralation with drug usage and acquisitive crime and I have seen first hand how hard drugs impacts people's life on many occasions. So I am not overly Kwan on the idea of legalising it, but that said its being going on for 100s of years, it will continue to do so. The debate continues

    Report this comment

    equalibrium

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Hands up who thinks t manning is boring ^^

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • perhaps lee davies you would like some of my stories of when i served in KOREA in the 50s.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

  • TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Its such a shame that with all the "scientific" evidence available we still have the same dated, inaccurate misinformation and rhetoric. Its worrying that such an important role as the PCC clearly has no knowledge on the subject of cannabis and is just sprouting what any Daily Mail reader wants to hear. The biggest problem we have in this society is the legal drug alcohol. It causes more health (physical & mental) issues than any other substance; over 1MILLION hosptial admissions per year as a direct result of Alcohol! It cause more social and economic problems than any other drug but because its "legal" it is overlooked. And this is fact, backed up by a recent study by the Lancet. in 2009 there were 9,000 deaths in the uk as a direct result of alcohol. There has never been a single death attributed to cannabis ever, in history -thats a long time! in fact the medicinal properitiesof the cannabis plant which were well known before prohibition in the 1930's have been rediscovered.Just Google Rick Simpson or Run From the Cure. Come on EADT wheres the balance, why dont you come interview me for balance view of this subject because you have let yourselves down with this piece.

    Report this comment

    Lee Nunn

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • It is quite incredible to think that someone can get to such a high position in life and think that cannabis makes you violent. Alcohol is a drug that is far more likelier to cause violence - does he advocate prohibition?

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • How is it possible for someone holding the office of Police and Crime Commissioner to demonstrate such monumental ignorance and stupidity about cannabis and drugs policy? This is an appalling demonstration of just how unfit for office is Mr Tim Passmore.

    Report this comment

    PeterReynolds

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • There will always be a black market. Otherwise customs wouldn't be so busy with illegal drink and tobacco, or designer brands. Mental health experts are very concerned about Colarado. The vulnerable young are being exploited in this trade, to allow others to escape prosecution. There hasn't been a war on drugs, courts and messages from higher up have been soft.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Saturday, January 4, 2014

  • Yes this needs a balanced story. Weed is as common as alcohol nowadays,yet alcohol is easier to obtain, but it causes more fights, broken homesrelationships and cost the NHS millions (look it up), and causes more deaths each year. But still the blind preach about weed being bad, wrong. Please re-report this or enter a counter argument. I bet a readers vote would produce a few surprises.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • Balance in the story......balance in comments more like. Moderators asleepor biased?

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

  • TIT PASSMORE the moderators must be asleep today.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • The PCC in question seems to have missed the point, the warnings are more to save police and court time for minor offences that cost more to process than they profit the system... and reflect the truth that everyone informed knows, that Cannabis is NOT a societal or criminal problem, just a governmental fear of losing votes if they advocate it...§

    Report this comment

    Tim Kelly

    Friday, January 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

loading...
iwitness24 Your news is our news Facebook Like your local paper Twitter Join the conversation Ipswich Borough Council

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT