The Home Office publishes statistics annually on illicit drug use from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly the British Crime Survey). This publication, which is designated National Statistics, contains information each year on the extent and trends in drug misuse among adults aged 16 to 59. Additional chapters are provided on topics which vary from publication to publication, for example: polydrug use, characteristics of drug users, new measures of drug use, and attitudes to drug-taking behaviour.
The next annual publication, containing statistics for April 2011 to March 2012 will be published on 26 July 2012. For this issue, the Home Office plans to change the format of publication, from a pdf-based bulletin to a web-based output, with a set of HTML pages and Excel spreadsheets. This move, particularly with respect to the spreadsheets, will give greater flexibility to users. All tables previously published on the extent and trends in illicit drug use will remain available to users in Excel format and all other tables on topics within this bulletin will also be available in Excel.
The aim is to make the commentary more concise but just as informative, and the HTML format will be more useable across the internet. However, during this transition, a pdf document will also be provided which will enable users to print out all HTML pages from one source document.
Explanatory notes on sources and definitions will be contained in a separate user guide, in the original pdf format, retaining the current scope of information and extending information where possible.
The format will be broadly similar to that recently adopted for the annual Police Powers and Procedures publication (the latest issue can be seen at: Police Powers and Procedures England and Wales 2010/11). In turn, this built on the successful development of the Immigration Statistics publication in HTML format last summer (the latest issue can be seen at: Immigration Statistics January - March 2012).
If you would like to comment on these proposals, or have suggestions to offer, please could you send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 22 June.
Home Office Statistics
25 May 2012