Drug Law Offenses in Belgium, by Type
"Drug use and possession are reported together as one offence since 2010, as individual drug use implies the possession of drugs. Before 2010, use and possession were often separately taken into account, which resulted in an overestimation of the total number of drug law offences. For this reason, numbers are only reported from 2010 on. In 2013, a total of 979,020 criminal offences were registered, of which 47,269 concerned drug law offences (possession (and use), trade, trafficking, or production of drugs). The proportion of drug-related offences raised to 4.8%. This was the first increase of prevalence in four years.
Every year, he Belgian federal police reports about drug law offences by specifying different categories such as use and possession, import and export, trade, production and trafficking of illicit drugs (Federale Politie - CGOP / Beleidsgegevens, 2013). Figure 9.2 describes the evolution between 2010 and 2013 of the drug law offences by category.
"The observed increase of drug-related offences registered in 2013 (n=47,269) in comparison with 2012 (n=44,108) is mainly determined by the evolution in drug law offences related to the use and possession of drugs. In 2013, the prevalence reached a record of 73.4%. Also the prevalence of production of drugs is increasing and reached 3.3% in 2013. The proportion of drug law offences registered by police forces related to import and export is declining. The registered drug law offences related to trade are stable.
"A case study about retail trade (the sale of user amounts) of cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy in Antwerp indicated that dealers are often carrying only very small amounts of drugs with them. They use this precaution as it is known that upon interference, when no evidence for dealing can be demonstrated, the police can only charge for possession of illegal drugs. However, the analysis of police charges and public prosecutor files revealed that dealers carry around more money in one's pockets than the average citizen. The presence of the money presumably refers to the illegal sale activities (Decorte and D'Huyvetter, 2014)."