Queensland seized a higher proportion of cocaine relative to other drugs than any other state or territory in 2014–15, according to a new report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
The Illicit Drug Data Report 2014–15, released today, shows cocaine accounted for 4.1 per cent of the weight of illicit drugs seized in Queensland, the highest proportion reported by any state or territory in 2014–15. The number of national cocaine seizures this reporting period was also at a record high, accounting for 3.1 per cent of the number of national illicit drug seizures in 2014–15.
Minister for Justice, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP, launched the report alongside ACIC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Dawson, in Adelaide.
“There is a perception among some drug users that their drug use hurts no one. This is far from the truth. The impact of illicit drug use on our society should not be underestimated,” Mr Dawson said.
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.
“In the 2014–15, Australian law enforcement agencies made a record 105,862 national illicit drug seizures, weighing a total of 23.5 tonnes, with a record 133 926 national illicit drug arrests. The marked increase in seizures and arrests during this reporting period is a direct result of the continued vigilance of law enforcement in combating the illicit drug trade,” Mr Dawson said.
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.
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 statistics in the 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