Police detected the highest number of clandestine drug laboratories in Victoria in a decade in 2014–15, according to a new report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).
Despite a decrease in clandestine laboratory detections nationally, 161 were reported in Victoria.
The Illicit Drug Data Report 2014–15 released today shows that amphetamine-type stimulants such as methylamphetamine account for the majority of illicit drugs manufactured in Victoria’s clandestine laboratories.
Minister for Justice, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP, launched the report alongside ACIC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Dawson, in Adelaide.
“The increase in detections highlights the continued vigilance and success of law enforcement in combating the manufacture of illicit drugs in residential Victoria,” said Mr Dawson.
“Residual contamination from illicit drug manufacture continues to pose a serious risk to people and the environment, and I commend Victoria Police for bringing clandestine drug manufacturers to justice.”
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the combined efforts by agencies has led to an increase in illicit drug seizures and arrests nationally.
“This year’s report demonstrates the close collaboration between law enforcement agencies has led to 13.7 per cent more drugs seized and 19.5 per cent more arrests from the previous year.
“But we are not complacent. Disrupting the supply chain for narcotics is vital to ending the devastation of illicit drugs. The AFP has recently recommitted to close working relationships with China, Vietnam and Cambodia to address the shared threat of transnational and organised crime. These partnerships provide significant value for Australian law enforcement in terms of our understanding of concealment methods, trafficking routes and syndicates facilitating narcotic imports into Australia.”
“Due in part to our wealthy status and our use of technology, Australia remains a target for criminal networks. The illicit drug data report is imperative in providing intelligence to the AFP’s International Network and aids in the development of off-shore partnerships to target illicit drug importation at its source,” Commissioner Colvin said.
Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner, Roman Quaedvlieg, said the ABF will continue to work closely with its partners to combat the threat of illicit drugs.
“While it is satisfying to note increased detections and arrests by the law enforcement community, it’s also a salutary reminder that the threat posed by illicit drugs is ever present,” he said.
“At this time, the most prominent of those threats is methamphetamine and its precursors and derivatives. The ABF is working with its partners to combat this pernicious drug.”
The Illicit Drug Data Report 2014–15 is a statistical report which provides governments, law enforcement agencies and policy makers with a robust picture of the Australian illicit drug market. It pulls together data from all state and territory police agencies, the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection/Australian Border Force and forensic laboratories.
For the first time, the report includes data from wastewater analysis to provide law enforcement, policy, regulatory and health agencies with additional and more objective data in relation to the usage of methylamphetamine and other drugs.
“The statistics in the Illicit Drug Data Report will inform prioritisation and decision-making to help protect Australia and minimise the threat, harm and destruction caused by illicit drugs,” Mr Dawson said.
The Illicit Drug Data Report 2014–15 is available online at www.acic.gov.au