Zagreb, 26 June 2016
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Every year, on 26 June, the United Nations celebrate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in order to rise the consciousness of this important issue and encourage people to conduct activities aimed at reducing substance abuse. According to the European Drug Report for 2016, it is estimated that over 88 million adults, or just over a quarter of the 15 to 64 year-olds in the European Union, are estimated to have tried illicit drugs at some point in their lives1.
According to data of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, total of 1 031 adults were convicted for the criminal offences of unauthorised production and circulating of drugs and of allowing consumption of drugs in 2015, which is the decrease of 0.7% compared to 2014 and increase of 2.9% compared to 2013. A total of 79 juveniles were convicted for the same criminal offence in 2015, which is by 28.8% less than in 2014 and 10.2% less than in 2013.
By types of misdemeanours, abuse of narcotic drugs belongs to misdemeanours against public order, whose total number rose in 2014 by 0.3% than a year before. In relation to all misdemeanours against public order, abuse of narcotic drugs is a misdemeanour for which a total of 3 904 adult persons were convicted in 2014, which is a decrease of 0.7% compared to 2013, while the share of abuse of narcotic drugs in a total number of misdemeanours against public order amounted to 7.4%.
Accfording to sex, there were singnificantly more male adult persons in 2014 convicted, who accounted for 89.6% of a total number of convicted persons. Then, out of the total number of convicted persons, most of them were found guilty, specifically 92.0% of the total number of convicted persons, while only 8.0% of them were not found guilty. Among all acquittals, they were not found guilty mostly due to rejected charges (55.4%) and least due to terminated proceedings (3.5%). 1
Viewed according to a type of proceedings, it is obvious that a major part of them were regular (74.0%), while only one fourth of them were urgent Concerning duration, a major number of proceedings lasted in 2014 from two to four months (28.6%). Regarding submitters of indictment in the same year, in as much as 80.8% cases it was the Ministry of the Interior, while in 17.3% of cases it was a public prosecutor.
As for criminal penalties, fine was pronounced to the majority of adult perpetrators (84.5%), while oonviction without sentence was pronounced to a slightly smaller number of them (15.1%). Judical admonition is present in the lowest percentage (0.3%) as well as suspended imprisonment (0.1%), while 66.4% of all cases referred to pronounced security measure of mandatory healing from addiction.
Analysing convicted adult persons according to age, it may be seen that almost a half of them, 49.4% of the total number, belong to the 18 – 24 age group and a decrease in the number of convicted persons is proportional with age, so that the smallest number of them is, as expected, found in the age group of 60 years and over.
In relaton to previously pronounced sentences, only 7.0% of them were previously sanctioned, while in relation to accomplices, perpetrators were alone in even 98.7% of cases. According to a misdemeanour court’s seat, as much as one fourth are located in the City of Zagreb (24.5%), followed by the County of Sploit-Dalmatia (20.3%) and the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar (14.7%).
Viewing all misdemeanours against public order, there were a total of 2 902 of them in 2014, which is a decrease of 2.9% compared to 2013. Viewed by classification of misdemeanours, abuse of narcotic drugs accounted for 16.3% of total number of misdemeanours against public order, which shows an increase of as much as 33.6% compared to the previuos year.
According to sex, there were more men among convicted juvenile persons as well. To be more precise, there was a total of 85.6% of convicted male juveniles and 14.4% of convicted female juveniles, while, among a total number of convicted juvenile persons, as much as 97.7% of them, were not previously sanctioned.
According to the type of decision in 2014, in as much as 98.9% of cases juvenile persons were not found guilty; instead, an educational or security measure were applied to them. Among educational measures, reprimand was the most frequent (58.8%), followed by special obligations (40.0%), while assignment to a disciplinary centre was the rarest measure (1.2%). Concerning security measures, the most frequent was mandatory healing from addiction, in as
much as 57.1% of cases. That same year, juvenile persons were found guilty in only five cases, which accounts for 1.1%, but they were always sanctioned with fines. According to a misdemeanour court’s seat, the major number of juvenile persons, as was also the case with adult perpetrators, were convicted in the City of Zagreb for abuse of narcotic drugs (32.6%), while the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar held the second place (16.3%) and County of Split-Dalmatia held the third place (12.7%).
In 2014, only five legal entities were convicted for abuse of narcotic drugs, of which three were found guilty, while two of them were not found responsible mostly due to a judgement of rejection of charges. Concerning responsible persons, five persons were convicted in that year, of which four were found guilty and in one case a judgement of rejection of charges was pronounced.