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30 June 2017

Cocaine still prominent in New South Wales illicit drug market

Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police Force

New South Wales continues to account for the greatest proportion of both the number and weight of national cocaine seizures, according to a new report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

The Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16, released today, shows the number of national cocaine seizures and arrests are the highest on record.

Minister for Justice, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP, launched the report alongside ACIC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Dawson, in Sydney.

“In 2015–16, New South Wales accounted for 68.7 per cent of the number and 71.2 per cent of the weight of cocaine seized in Australia and 50.2 per cent of national cocaine arrests,” Mr Dawson said.

“While cannabis accounted for the greatest proportion of the number of illicit drug seizures in New South Wales, 6.7 per cent of the number of illicit drug seizures related to cocaine—the highest proportion reported by any state or territory in 2015–16.”

“This reporting period New South Wales also accounted for the greatest proportion of both the number and weight of national steroid seizures (56.2per cent and 92.2 per cent respectively) and the number and weight of national other opioid seizures (45.1 per cent and 44.3 per cent respectively).”

“In 2015–16, News South Wales also accounted for the greatest proportion of the number of national amphetamine-type stimulant seizures (35.2 per cent), cannabis seizures (31.0 per cent), heroin seizures (47.7 per cent), hallucinogen seizures (52.7 per cent) and other and unknown not elsewhere classified drug seizures (43.4 per cent).”

“The report highlights the continued vigilance of law enforcement in combating illicit drugs in New South Wales.”

“Understanding trends and emerging issues in the illicit drug market, both nationally and at a state and territory level, provides the ACIC and our partners with an opportunity to shape the response to both demand and supply, particularly in high-use areas.”

New South Wales (NSW) Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the report highlights the concerning demand for illicit drugs in the community.

“Illicit drugs have a lasting and damaging effect on individuals and communities, so targeting and disrupting supply and manufacture is a priority,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“NSW Police will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies put a stop to organised crime.

“This report also highlights the important police work resulting in increased drug seizures and arrests.”

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin said the Illicit Drug Data Report annually provides a valuable insight into the challenges faced by law enforcement.

“Drug seizures at our borders and those made on the streets by our state and territory counterparts indicate that Australia continues to be an attractive market for international organised crime syndicates,” Commissioner Colvin said.

“The AFP will continue working with local and international law enforcement agencies to disrupt and dismantle these syndicates. However, the entire Australian community needs to work together to examine how we can combat issues associated with demand for these substances.”

Australian Border Force (ABF) Acting Commissioner Michael Outram said the ABF has a pivotal role in preventing these dangerous and illicit substances from entering Australia.

“The numerous instances of record detections this reporting period serve as a reminder of the continued threat that illegal drugs pose on the Australian public,” Acting Commissioner Outram said.

“The prevalence of methylamphetamine and its precursors discovered at our borders follows a concerning trend over recent years. The ABF is working with domestic and international law enforcement agencies to combat this ruinous drug.”

The Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 is a statistical report which provides governments, law enforcement agencies and policy makers with a robust picture of the Australian illicit drug market. It brings together data from all state and territory police agencies, the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection/Australian Border Force, forensic laboratories and research centres.

“The statistics in the report will inform prioritisation and decision-making as we continue to discover, understand and respond to the threat and harm caused by illicit drugs,” Mr Dawson said.

The Illicit Drug Data Report 2015–16 is available online at www.acic.gov.au

Last updated
30 June 2017