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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Crime and justice >> Drug offences

The traffic in, and abuse of, illicit drugs results in significant social and financial costs to both individuals and the community. To minimise the harm associated with illicit drug activity, there is close cooperation between the Australian Government, the state and territory governments, the various police services and other law enforcement agencies. Included in these agencies is the ACS which has, among other things, responsibility for the enforcement of laws controlling the import and export of illicit drugs. These agencies direct particular attention to monitoring the various types and forms of illicit drugs and identifying emerging patterns of use through the analysis of law enforcement data on illicit drug seizures and arrests.

In 2002-03 by far the largest category of drug arrests involved cannabis offences, with 55,689 arrests, or 74% of the national total (table 11.14). Queensland recorded over a third of these arrests (19,879). The next largest category of arrests involved amphetamine offences, with 8,313 arrests, or 11% of the national total.


11.14 DRUG ARRESTS(a) - 2002-03

Drug type
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

NUMBER

Cannabis(b)
12,368
7,022
19,879
7,877
6,028
1,830
405
280
55,689
Cocaine
148
51
36
5
8
-
-
2
250
Heroin and other opioids
1,287
1,951
298
52
186
9
1
40
3,824
Amphetamine-type stimulants
2,070
1,842
2,533
388
1,300
66
50
64
8,313
Hallucinogens
29
39
22
16
17
1
-
-
124
Steroids
33
3
54
-
15
2
3
3
113
Other drugs(c)
1,132
931
3,986
139
304
86
-
82
6,660
Total
17,067
11,839
26,808
8,477
7,858
1,994
459
471
74,973

RATE PER 100,000 ADULT(d) POPULATION

Cannabis(b)
185.6
143.7
529.5
517.4
311.2
385.8
204.5
86.9
281.9
Cocaine
2.2
1.0
1.0
0.3
0.4
-
-
0.6
1.3
Heroin and other opioids
19.3
39.9
7.9
3.4
9.6
1.9
0.5
12.4
19.4
Amphetamine-type stimulants
31.1
37.7
67.5
25.5
67.1
13.9
25.2
19.9
42.1
Hallucinogens
0.4
0.8
0.6
1.1
0.9
0.2
-
-
0.6
Steroids
0.5
0.1
1.4
-
0.8
0.4
1.5
0.9
0.6
Other drugs(c)
17.0
19.1
106.2
9.1
15.7
18.1
-
25.5
33.7
Total
256.2
242.4
714.1
556.8
405.7
420.4
231.7
146.2
379.5

(a) The arrest data for each state and territory include AFP data.
(b) The SA, NT and ACT figures include infringement notices.
(c) 'Other drugs' includes phencyclidine (PCP or 'angel dust'), diazepam, lignocaine, benzocaine, dothiepin, flunitrazepam, other prescription drugs, and any drug not included in the other categories.
(d) Persons aged 18 years and over in all states and territories except Vic. and Qld, where 'adult' refers to persons aged 17 years and over.


Source: Australian Crime Commission, 'Illicit Drug Data Report, 2002-03'.


Arrests for most types of drugs increased between 2001-02 and 2002-03 (graph 11.15). Heroin arrests rose by 17% to 3,824 after declining markedly between 1998-99 and 2001-02. Amphetamines arrests increased by 5%, continuing the increase that occurred between 1997-98 and 2000-01. Arrests and infringement notices for cannabis rose slightly to 55,689, after declining steadily between 1997-98 and 2000-01. The only drug type to show a clear decrease in arrests in 2002-03 was cocaine, which declined by 59% to 250.

Graph 11.15: SELECTED DRUG ARRESTS(a)


Information on the widespread problems arising from drug abuse in Australia, and on how these problems are being approached, is presented in the Australian Illicit Drug Report produced by the ACC.

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