The Australian Crime Commission‘s (ACC) Illicit Drug Data Report 2010–11 has revealed the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) detected its first clandestine laboratory since 2007–08.
In 2010–11 there was one clandestine laboratory detected in the ACT and 703 detected nationally, with Queensland reporting the highest proportion.
“Although the ACT does not have a high number of clandestine laboratories, this one laboratory is a significant find as it is the first in three reporting periods,” ACC Chief Executive Officer John Lawler said.
“The substances used to make illicit drugs such as MDMA and Methylamphetamine in illicit clan labs are toxic, corrosive, explosive and carcinogenic and pose a significant risk to the community, including respiratory problems, severe burns and even death,” Mr Lawler said.
“The residue of drug manufacturing can pose risks for many years including damage to the environment through soil and water contamination as well as the disposal of toxic waste in public spaces.”
Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Jason Clare launched the ACC‘s Illicit Drug Data Report 2010–11 at the National Measurement Institute (NMI) with Mr Lawler and AFP Commissioner, Tony Negus, to highlight the science behind illicit drugs and what it demonstrates about the diversity and evolution of the market.
“Science helps us to understand the way in which drugs are constructed. It can identify source countries, manufacturing trends and drug content—all from a single sample,” Mr Lawler said.
“The Australian Federal Police‘s Australian Illicit Drug Data Centre facilitates drug profiling through the NMI. The Australian drug market is increasingly diverse, both in terms of importation and distribution.”
ACT Policing provided key data to the report, including information on illicit drug purity, seizures and arrests. Deputy Chief Police Officer David Pryce welcomed the report, which is the ninth edition produced by the ACC.
“The report provides law enforcement agencies and interested stakeholders with a holistic Australian perspective of the illicit drug market. This type of information is important as in the ACT we often see trends which commence in New South Wales come across the border into the ACT,” Commander Pryce said.
“As ACT Policing uses an intelligence-led policing model, this report provides in-depth statistics and analysis which are used to develop targeted, measured approaches to disrupting the illicit drug supply and implementing key harm reduction strategies.”
“We want the community to know that ACT Policing will continue to target, apprehend people and put offenders before the court if they choose to manufacture, sell and possess illicit substances in the community.”
The ACC Illicit Drug Data Report continues to inform and provide government, law enforcement and other stakeholders with a national and jurisdictional picture of the illicit drug market. This enables police to better understand the drug and crime environment, assists with effective utilisation of resources, and provides for practical solutions and informed decisions in preventing illicit drug use and drug related crime.
Australian Capital Territory statistics are drawn from data provided by ACT Policing, and the Australian Federal Police.
A copy of the report is available at www.crimecommission.gov.au.
Key findings from Illicit Drug Data Report 2010–11:
• The number of Amphetamine-Type Stimulants (excluding MDMA) detections at the Australian border increased by 60 per cent in 2010–11 and is the highest recorded in the last decade.
• The weight of heroin detections at the Australian Border increased by 241 per cent and is the highest recorded since 2001–02.
• The weight of national cocaine seizures increased by 67.7 per cent in 2010–11 and is the third highest recorded in the last decade.
• The number of national ‘other and unknown’ drug seizures is the highest recorded in the last decade.
ACC Media team
Phone: 02 6243 6843