Ice driving crime rates higher, Australian Institute of Criminology says

Originally Published ABC News 23 August 2015

A report showing record levels of amphetamine use among people in police custody is proof that ice is driving crime rates higher, the Australian Institute of Criminology says.

Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) is funded by the Federal Government and has been tracking men and women in police custody since 1999.

Its latest report shows 37 per cent of adult detainees tested positive to amphetamines — the highest in DUMA’s history, and a 13 per cent jump since 2011–12.

Institute director Chris Dawson said the increased use of ice in Australia was reflected in crime rates and also disproportionate to that in other Western nations.

Key points

  • 37 per cent of adult detainees nationwide tested positive to amphetamines
  • Increase in ice use is disproportionate to increases in other Western countries
  • Kings Cross, in central Sydney, shows highest figures
  • Half of those who test positive have been charged in the previous 12 months

“We’re still not exactly certain why it’s becoming the most prevalent of the illicit drugs, but certainly the harms that are attached to it — increased psychosis, memory loss, aggression — give rise to very serious crimes,” he said.

In police custody, on amphetamines

  • Kings Cross, NSW — 61 per cent
  • Surry Hills, NSW — 43 per cent
  • East Perth, WA — 39 per cent
  • Brisbane, QLD — 38 per cent
  • Adelaide, SA — 27 per cent
  • Bankstown, NSW — 26 per cent

Mr Dawson said almost half of those who tested positive to amphetamines had been charged with a crime in the previous 12 months.

“These are not first-up offenders, these are people who are being detained for the courts who are — almost half of them have been — subject to charges before,” he said.

“There’s an increased prevalence in the use of drugs among offenders.”

View the full article here.

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