Australian Institute of Criminology

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Drug-related crime : evidence from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey

Crime facts info no. 172

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2008

As part of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), respondents aged 14 years and over were asked whether, in the 12 months prior, they had experienced drug-related victimisation or were involved in a range of illegal activities while under the influence of drugs. Drug-relatedness is based on the perceptions of respondents in the NDSHS and does not necessarily indicate the actual presence of drug use or intoxication at the time of an incident. The results indicated that around 11 percent of Australians were verbally abused, eight percent were made to feel fearful and two percent were physically abused by someone who they believed was under the influence of drugs (not including alcohol). The experience of drug-related victimisation was higher than self-reported involvement in criminal activities, where some three percent of Australians reported driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. This was followed by those who reported verbally abusing someone (1%), causing a public disturbance (0.6%), damaging property (0.4%) and physically abusing someone (0.3%). Although these percentages appear small, they are presented as proportions of the total Australian population aged 14 years and over; one percent equates to approximately 172,000 people.

Prevalence of drug-related victimisation and perpetration in the past 12 months, Australians aged 14 years and over (percentage)

Source: Adapted from AIHW (2008), Tables 5.1 and 5.2

References

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2008. 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: first results. Canberra: AIHW