Illicit Drugs and Crime
Illicit Drugs and Crime
Is there a link between illicit drugs and crime?
The use of illicit drugs contributes in a very real way to incidents of crime across South Australia.
The links between illicit drug use and crime are complex and the relationship has been the subject of significant research efforts by criminologists and other academics. From a policing perspective, however, there is little doubt of the links.
Drug related offending presents in a variety of ways, including:
The types of crime which are typically associated with illicit drug use include: offences against property (such as theft and serious criminal trespass): and offences against the person including those associated with violence (e.g. robbery and assault) and behavioural offending.
Drug related offending also includes the substantive breaches of drug specific legislation, with the most obvious being offending that is associated with the possession, use, manufacture, cultivation, trafficking and supply of illicit drugs.
In addition, the misuse of pharmaceuticals and volatile substances also contributes to crime. This includes the theft or diversion of pharmaceutical drugs for use in clandestine laboratories which in turn, are used to manufacture the illicit drugs that contribute to criminal behaviour. The misuse of pharmaceutical drugs and volatile substances also contribute to public order offending by those who are under their influence.
How many of the people detained by police admit to using illicit drugs?
There is research both in Australia and internationally which shows that a significant proportion of those apprehended for a range of criminal offences are frequent illicit drug users. The Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program collects information from police detainees across Australia about their illicit drug use.
The DUMA data shows that people who are in police detention for various offences are four times more likely to be illicit drug users than the general population; with 32% of adult detainees reporting at least some of their offences were drug related.
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Police urge community to provide information in fight against illegal drug activity
South Australia Police urges the community to come forward with information about illegal drug activity to assist in the fight against crime.
Detective Acting Superintendent Derryn Phillips, Officer in Charge of the Drug Investigation Branch, says South Australia Police (SAPOL) is committed to combating the illicit manufacture and sale of drugs across the State.
"Illicit drug activity is destructive to society. It destroys communities, families and lives. This unlawful activity can include the cultivation of cannabis, sale of illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, amphetamine or ecstasy, or involve the manufacture of illegal drugs in clandestine laboratories.
"We must work together to ensure that the community is safe. SAPOL continues to gather valuable information through various sources which assists with investigations and enables us to take appropriate action.
"One of these sources is from members of the public. Any piece of information can be important and we encourage anyone who knows where drug activity is taking place, or who is involved, to contact BankSA Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers can remain anonymous," Acting Superintendent Phillips says.
Police are asking the community to pay particular attention to suspicious activity. What to watch out for:
Indicators of illicit drug activity may include:
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