This targeted data collection ran after the publication and launch of the Drug Offences Definitive Guideline in February 2012. Since then, the Drug Offences Definitive Guideline has been replaced by new revised guidelines applicable from 1 April 2021 onwards. It is nevertheless hoped that publication of the raw underlying data in respect of the 2012 guideline will still be useful, adding to the knowledge base to better understand magistrates’ courts sentencing factors in relation to outcomes.

The data collection ran between 16 November 2015 and 29 January 2016. Paper forms were sent to a sample of 81 magistrates’ courts for district judges and magistrates to populate. The data collection form can be viewed below.

This publication contains a cleaned and disclosure control-checked version of the data. Alongside the main drugs dataset there is a supplementary linked dataset containing details on the single most important factor that sentencers indicated was central to their sentencing decision.

There is no discussion of trends and narrative included in this publication as these data were analysed in the drug offences guideline assessment, which was published in June 2018. However, there are several documents published alongside the datasets to support their comprehension.

The documents contained in this publication are:

Please be aware that a summary of the findings from the user feedback survey which accompanied a previous data publication on theft has also now been published and can be found on the theft data collection page.

If you require any of these documents in an alternative format, please contact