Table 3 OL
Number of 'arrests' (1) for drug law offences in EU countries 1985-99
  Study Unit 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Belgium Persons 3 917 4 646 6 393 7 000 6 093 7 051 10 720 18 179 19 482 19 467 18 376 n.a. n.a. 23 184 17 219
Denmark Persons 5 147 5 262 7 862 7 031 7 566 8 915 9 535 10 290 12 421 9 536 9 008 8 678 8 234 8 900 9 424
Germany Offences 60 941 68 694 74 894 84 998 94 000 103 629 117 046 123 903 122 240 132 389 158 477 187 022 205 099 216 682 226 563
Greece(2) Persons 953 1 734 2 257 2 471 2 660 3 081 3 197 2 966 2 636 3 340 4 400 6 420 6 040 10 973 10 105
Spain(3) Offences 12 863 19 203 25 545 27 911 27 407 24 812 28 581 27 713 30 161 31 703 44 318 65 707 78 847 81 644 90 837
France Arrests 29 750 30 493 31 105 31 213 33 510 34 213 45 063 54 468 51 657 59 697 69 432 77 640 89 285 91 048 95 910
Ireland Offences 1 270 1 163 1 196 1 333 1 344 2 071 3 088 3 494 3 833 4 443 4 164 3 278 4 156 5 631 6 848
Italy (3)(4) Persons 15 763 14 857 19 373 23 320 20 582 18 343 22 966 27 617 23 818 26 449 32 652 32 987 33 213 33 179 34 297
Luxembourg Arrests 107 83 89 138 102 151 130 172 91 152 128 149 154 100 108
Netherlands(3) Offences 5 790 5 400 5 420 4 820 4 700 5 900 4 430 3 380 3 010 4 040 3 470 6 593 10 300 7 700 n.a.
Austria(5) Offences 4 932 4 739 4 778 4 963 4 474 4 829 5 392 7 805 10 915 12 623 13 093 16 196 17 868 17 141 17 597
Portugal Persons 1 471 2 047 2 192 1 845 2 534 3 586 4 667 6 280 5 197 4 708 6 380 9 054 9 333 11 395 13 020
Finland Persons 1 159 1 194 1 203 1 024 741 1 346 1 969 2 399 3 063 3 175 3 944 6 059 7 015 8 173 n.a.
Sweden Persons 6 567 6 426 6 533 6 697 7 163 7 676 8 123 7 974 7 394 8 604 9 573 9 307 10 625 11 497 n.a.
U.Kingdom Persons - 23 905 26 278 30 515 38 415 44 922 47 616 48 927 68 480 85 691 93 631 95 198 114 407 130 253 120 007
TOTAL Arrests 149 677 189 846 215 118 235 279 251 291 270 525 312 523 345 567 364 398 406 017 471 046 524 288 576 708 640 359 n.a.

NB:

(1) The term 'arrest' is quoted since definitions differ widely.
(2) Greece: in 1998, the figure refers to a number of charges.
(3) Italy, the Netherlands and Spain: only arrests related to dealing/trafficking.
(4) Italy: from 1985 to 1994, the figures include only persons under restriction. Since 1995, the figures include persons under restriction + persons in liberty.
(5) Austria: total number of reports for drug law offences include number of reports for drug-related deaths and reports for psychotropic substances since 1998.
Source: Reitox focal points.

Definitions of 'arrests' for drug law offences in EU countries

Country definition of drug-related 'arrests'

Belgium persons involved in cases of illicit drugs reported by the police
Denmark charges for violations of drug laws
Germany all offences under narcotic law
Greece arrests (caught by the police)
Spain arrests related to illicit drug trafficking
France arrests (caught by law enforcement agencies) for violation of drug laws
Ireland drug offences where proceedings commenced (charges)
Italy persons referred to the Judicial Authority for drug crimes
Luxembourg arrests for presumed offences to the 1973 drug law
Netherlands offences against the Opium Act
Austria reports to the police for violations of the Narcotics Drug Act
Portugal presumed offenders interrogated by the police for suspected drug-related offences
Finland suspects of narcotics offences
Sweden persons suspected of offences against the Narcotic Drugs Act or the Good Smuggling Act
United Kingdom persons found guilty, cautioned, given a fiscal fine or dealt with by compounding for drug law offences