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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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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 Australian Customs Service 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 2003-04 by far the largest category of drug arrests involved cannabis offences, with 56,747 arrests, or 72% of the national total (table 11.19). Queensland recorded over a third of these arrests (22,065). The next largest category of arrests involved amphetamine offences, with 9,593 arrests, or 12% of the national total.

11.19 DRUG ARRESTS(a) - 2003-04

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

NUMBER

Cannabis(b)
11,054
7,620
22,065
7,301
6,108
1,638
615
346
56,747
Cocaine
185
85
35
-
21
-
-
2
328
Heroin and other opioids
1,007
2,079
367
37
151
10
1
39
3,691
Amphetamine-type stimulants
2,001
2,240
3,000
451
1,711
39
52
99
9,593
Hallucinogens
18
38
31
5
31
-
1
-
124
Steroids
31
-
54
-
5
-
5
4
99
Other drugs(c)
967
1,117
4,645
118
1,578
17
-
2
8,444
Total
15,263
13,179
30,197
7,912
9,605
1,704
674
492
79,026

RATE(d)

Cannabis(b)
226.4
199.4
759.9
620.2
416.6
455.8
441.5
140.8
373.5
Cocaine
3.6
2.2
1.2
-
1.4
-
-
0.8
2.2
Heroin and other opioids
19.8
54.4
12.6
3.1
10.3
2.8
0.7
15.9
24.3
Amphetamine-type stimulants
39.4
58.6
103.3
38.3
116.7
10.9
37.3
40.3
63.1
Hallucinogens
0.4
1.0
1.1
0.4
2.1
-
0.7
-
0.8
Steroids
0.6
-
1.9
-
0.3
-
3.6
1.6
0.7
Other drugs(c)
19.0
29.2
160.0
10.0
107.6
4.7
-
0.8
55.6
Total
300.4
344.8
1,039.9
672.1
655.1
474.2
483.8
200.2
520.1

(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) Per 100,000 adult persons, i.e. 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, 2003-04'; Australian Demographic Statistics June 2004 (3101.0).


Arrests for most types of drugs increased between 2002-03 and 2003-04. Amphetamine arrests increased by 15% to 9,593. Arrests and infringement notices for cannabis rose slightly to 56,747, after declining steadily between 1998-99 and 2000-01. Heroin arrests decreased by 4% to 3,691 after declining markedly between 1998-99 and 2001-02, then increasing by 17% in 2002-03 (graph 11.20). Arrests for 'Other drugs' increased by 27% to 8,444.

Graph 11.20: 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
Illicit Drug Data Report produced by the ACC.

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