New drug arrests fell 15 per cent last year, but arrests for marijuana use jumped 71 per cent year-on-year, the data showed.
According to the annual report released by the Central Narcotics Bureau, 2,812 drug addicts were arrested last year, an increase of 3% year-on-year. Among them, new drug addicts accounted for about 28% of all drug addicts arrested, and about half of the new drug addicts arrested were under the age of 30.
The number of youth abusers (i.e. aged below 20 years old) caught who abused cannabis increased threefold from 8 in 2021 to 26 in 2022, forming about 22% of total youth abusers arrested.
In addition, most of the people arrested for smoking marijuana were first-time users, and compared with the previous year, more youths aged 20 or younger were arrested for smoking marijuana.
The CNB said that it continues to work closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs and other government departments in its enforcement operations. Law enforcement officers from multiple departments launched 11 island-wide inspection operations last year and 783 operations at checkpoints to detect drug dealers who illegally brought drugs into our country.
The Central Narcotics Bureau also smashed 23 drug trafficking syndicates last year, and the total market value of the drugs seized was as high as more than S$14 million.
“Singapore’s focus is on building a drug-free society, not a drug-tolerant one. As a small nation, we can ill afford the societal devastation that can be caused by widespread drug addiction, as witnessed in other countries,” said Sam Tee, Director, Central Narcotics Bureau.
He added, “Singapore’s tough stance on drugs is based on scientific evidence, and we will continue to communicate this clearly and dispel misinformation, so that Singaporeans can make informed choices on drug abuse.”
CNB said that strong support from the community, especially from schools and community partners, is crucial in Singapore’s fight against drugs. it called on more organisations and partners to join CNB in speaking up against drug abuse, and in building a drug-free home for children.