HL Deb 14 October 1985 vol 467 cc464-6WA
Lord Boston of Faversham

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will set out in the Official Report the details about the incidence of drug-related offences and the methods of dealing with drug abuse in the Services stated in a letter from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, Lord Trefgame, to Lord Boston of Faversham.

The Minister of State for Defence (Lord Trefgarne)

The information requested is set out in the following table:


All Services RN/RM Army RAF
1980 153 100 39 14
1981 202 100 70 32
1982 122 36 69 17
1983 190 61 114 15
1984 336 44 149 143

Details of types of drugs involved in the above cases are not available; however, more than 90 per cent. of the RAF's and some 80 per cent. of the Navy's convictions were for offences involving cannabis only. A detailed breakdown of ranks is not available as such statistics are not kept; however, only one officer (Army 1982) has been convicted during the period.


  1. 1. The Royal Navy's figures are not directly comparable to those of the other two services because:
  1. a. they do not include convictions in civilian courts for which records are not readily available, and
  2. b. the Royal Navy's policy is to try almost all drug cases whilst the other two services have tended to deal with very minor cases administratively.
  1. 2. The RAF figure for 1984 reflects the fact that from the beginning of that year all minor offences have been subject to formal disciplinary action rather than being dealt with administratively as previously.
  2. 3. All Royal Navy figures and RAF figures for 1984 include convictions for minor drug-related offences charged respectively under Section 39 of the Naval Discipline Act or Section 69 of the Air Force Act. The Army does not produce a breakdown of offences charged under Section 69 of the Army Act which is used for a wide variety of misdemeanours, and no Section 69 offences are therefore included in the Army's figures.