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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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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 individuals and the community. To minimise the harm associated with illicit drug activity there is close cooperation between the Commonwealth Government, the state and territory governments, the various police services and other law enforcement agencies. Included in these 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.

As table 11.14 shows, in 2000-01 by far the largest category of drug arrests involved cannabis offences, with 54,017 offenders (69% of the national total). The next largest categories of arrests involved amphetamine offences ('speed'), with 8,851 offenders (11% of the national total), and heroin offences (7,396 or 9%).

Victoria's arrest rate of 83.7 per 100,000 persons for heroin and other opioids was the highest for any of the states and territories and more than twice the national average of 38.2 per 100,000 persons.


11.14 ALL DRUG ARRESTS(a) - 2000-01

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

NUMBER

Cannabis(b)
13,736
6,524
13,178
10,974
7,371
1,050
850
334
54,017
Cocaine
506
63
26
22
30
2
-
3
652
Heroin and other opioids
2,263
4,008
448
233
352
9
24
59
7,396
Amphetamine-type stimulants
2,841
1,263
1,992
711
1,758
70
160
56
8,851
Hallucinogens
55
1
67
25
44
1
5
1
199
Steroids
33
-
28
-
21
-
7
1
90
Other drugs(c)
1,936
2,384
1,343
491
515
93
35
4
6,801
Total
21,370
14,243
17,082
12,456
10,091
1,225
1,081
458
78,006

RATE PER 100,000 ADULT POPULATION

Cannabis(b)
209.1
136.2
365.7
726.2
389.3
222.3
428.2
104.6
279.0
Cocaine
7.7
1.3
0.7
1.5
1.6
0.4
-
0.9
3.4
Heroin and other opioids
34.5
83.7
12.4
15.4
18.6
1.9
12.1
18.5
38.2
Amphetamine-type stimulants
43.2
26.4
55.3
47.0
92.8
14.8
80.6
17.5
45.7
Hallucinogens
0.8
-
1.9
1.7
2.3
0.2
2.5
0.3
1.0
Steroids
0.5
-
0.8
-
1.1
-
3.5
0.3
0.5
Other drugs(c)
29.5
49.8
37.3
32.5
27.2
19.7
17.6
1.3
35.1
Total
325.3
297.3
474.1
824.3
532.9
259.4
544.6
143.4
402.9

(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.

Source: Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence, 'Australian Illicit Drug Report, 2000-01'.


While the number of cannabis arrests and infringement notices has been declining in the period 1996-97 through to 2000-01, there has been an upward trend in arrests associated with amphetamines. Heroin arrests peaked during 1998-99 (graph 11.15).

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 Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

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