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Drug offences

Drugs and drug-related crime have a huge negative impact on our communities. We are committed to tackling the problems associated with drug use and drug dealing in your area and welcome any information you may have.

If you have information of abuse in your area, contact your local police on 101, or anonymously on Crimestoppers by phone, 0800 555 111 or online.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is the main law to control and classify drugs that are ‘dangerous or otherwise harmful’ when misused.

The act lists all illegal (or controlled) drugs in the UK and divides them into one of 3 ‘classes’ – A, B and C – based on the harm they cause to individuals and society. Class A drugs are considered the most harmful. This is commonly known as the drug classification system.




Supply and Production


Crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone, methamphetamine (crystal meth)

Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (eg mephedrone, methoxetamine)

Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (diazepam), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), ketamine, piperazines (BZP)

Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


The act makes it illegal for people to:

  • possess illegal drugs
  • possess illegal drugs with intent to supply
  • supply or offer to supply illegal drugs (including giving them away for free or sharing with others)
  • produce illegal drugs
  • import or export illegal drugs
  • allow a house, flat or office to be used by people to undertake any of these unlawful activities

For free confidential drugs information and advice, contact:

Talk to Frank - friendly, confidential drugs advice

Infobuzz - individual support around drugs and emotional health issues

Turning Point - drug and alcohol services to help people recover from addiction


‘Legal highs’ - what you need to know

1.    From 26 May 2016, it will be illegal to supply or sell New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) also called ‘legal highs’ and you could face up to seven years in prison.

2.    It will be also be an offence to produce, import or export NPS.

3.    The new law will capture any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect excluding substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, caffeine and medical products.

4.      The new law will be enforced by police, trading standards officers, Border Force and the National Crime Agency


Page last updated: 11 January 2018