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East Perth

Sample

During 2011–12, 1,702 detainees were interviewed at the East Perth police watchhouse. The average age of detainees was 30 years and 83 percent were male. On average, female detainees were one year older than their male counterparts (31 cf 30; see Table 51).

From 2011 to 2012, the number of detainees interviewed increased by 14 percent (n=794 cf n=908). This increase was largely driven by a 17 percent increase in the number of male detainees processed during DUMA interview hours (n=648 cf n=760). From 2011 to 2012, the number of female detainees interviewed remained relatively stable (n=146 cf n=148). While in 2011–12, the number of detainees interviewed and processed was lower than 2009–10, the number surveyed and processed during 2011–12 was greater than when collection began in East Perth in 1999.

The average age of East Perth detainees remained static across the current two years of data collection at 30 years. From 2011 to 2012, by gender, the average age was also consistent—31 years for females and 30 years for males.

Offending

In 2011–12, East Perth detainees were arrested and detained for a total of 4,375 charges. Similar to earlier years, the average number of charges per detainee was three. In 2011–12, charges for breach offences were those most commonly recorded among the East Perth sample, comprising 34 percent of total charges. This was followed by charges for violent offences (20%), property offences (19%), disorder offences (8%), traffic offences (7%), drug offences (5%) and drink driving offences (1%). A further five percent of charges were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 52). Since the 2009–10 collection period, the percentage of breach offences increased by six percentage points (from 28%), while other offence categories only decreased or increased by one or two percentage points.

To facilitate comparison between detainees, each detainee is categorised by the most serious offence for which they are being held under charge at the time of interview. In 2011–12, 32 percent of East Perth detainees were classified as breach offenders (an increase of 10 percentage points from 2009–10), 30 percent as violent offenders, 16 percent as property offenders, seven percent as disorder offenders, five percent as traffic offenders, four percent as drug offenders and two percent as drink driving offenders. A further two percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 52).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a seven percentage point decrease in violent offenders (34% cf 27%) and a seven percentage point increase in breach offenders (29% cf 36%). Compared with previous years, the proportion of detainees charged with a drug, drink driving or traffic offence in 2011–12 declined, while the percentage of breach offenders in 2012 was notably higher than recorded in any year since collection began.

In 2011–12, different patterns of offending were observed between males and females. Based on most serious offence classification, male detainees were most likely to be detained for a breach offence (33%), followed by a violent offence (32%), property offence (13%) and disorder offence (8%). Female detainees were most likely to be detained for a breach offence (32%), property offence (28%), violent offence (22%) and disorder offence (26%). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was a 10 and 13 percentage point increase in male (23% cf 33%) and female detainees (19% cf 32%) respectively, categorised as breach offenders.

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2011–12, for half the East Perth detainees, the current episode of contact with police was not an isolated incident, with 50 percent having been charged on at least one separate occasion in the 12 months prior to interview (see Table 53). From 2011 to 2012, there was an eight percentage point decrease in recidivism (54% cf 46%). However, the proportion of detainees reporting prior police contact was relatively stable when compared with earlier years. By gender, in 2011–12, male detainees were more likely than females to have been charged on a separate occasion in the 12 months prior to interview (51% cf 45%).

In 2011–12, 15 percent of East Perth detainees reported spending time in prison in the previous 12 months. This was four percentage points lower than in 2009–10 (19%). Males were more likely than females to have spent time in prison (15% cf 11%). Between 2011 and 2012, there was a four percentage point decrease in the number of detainees reporting a recent prison history (17% cf 13%). The number of detainees reporting a recent prison history was notably lower when compared with historical data for East Perth.

Education, housing and employment

In 2011–12, Year 10 was the highest level of education attained for almost half of East Perth detainees (47%; see Table 54), a six percentage point decrease since 2009–10 (53%). Just over a third of detainees (35%) had attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification. These results indicate an increase in scholastic achievement when compared with education levels in 2009–10, when 25 percent of detainees fell into this category. When comparing genders, male detainees were slightly more likely than females to have attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification (35% cf 31%), whereas female detainees were more likely than males to have attained Year 10 as their highest level of education (50% cf 46%). From 2011 to 2012, for male detainees, the most notable change was a seven percentage point decrease in detainees for whom Year 10 was the highest level of education attained. For females, the level of education remained relatively stable across the two year period.

The vast majority of detainees (89%) in East Perth reported residing in stable accommodation (which was owned or rented, either from a private owner or social housing, by them (41%) or someone else (48%)) for most of the time in the 30 days prior to their arrest. A small percentage of detainees (7%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 54). In 2011–12, there were no notable differences in housing situation compared with previous years.

In 2011–12, one in four detainees (26%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest and one in 10 detainees (10%) reported being in part-time employment (see Table 54). However, the majority (64%) were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 36 percent were looking for work (n=605);
  • 13 percent were not looking for work (n=225);
  • eight percent were not working either because they were on leave from work or due to illness, disability or the seasonal nature of their employment (n=135);
  • five percent were full-time homemakers (n=83); and
  • three percent were retired or studying (n=45).

The most notable change from 2011 to 2012 was a three percentage point increase in detainees who reported being in full-time employment (24% cf 27%). The 2011–12 detainee employment pattern was comparable with previous years.

Examining the employment pattern by gender, there were a number of differences. Male detainees were more likely than females to be looking for work (36% cf 33%) or employed full-time (30% cf 5%). Female detainees were more likely than males to be full-time homemakers (21% cf 1%) or not looking for work (20% cf 12%). Caution should be exercised when interpreting gender comparisons due to the overrepresentation of males in the sample. From 2011 to 2012, the employment status for both male and female detainees remained relatively consistent.

Drug use

Urinalysis screening was conducted for five drug classes—amphetamines, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates—and secondary screening tests were conducted for the opiate pharmacotherapy substances methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, confirmatory analysis was conducted for samples testing positive to amphetamines and opiates (not including pharmacotherapies). Opiates were then classified as either heroin or other opiates (including prescription opiates). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines). In the 2011–12 collection period, the rate of urine collection was reduced compared with earlier collection periods; urine samples were collected for all four data collection quarters in 2011 and two out of the four data collection quarters in 2012.

Of the 936 detainees who provided a urine sample, three in four (75%) tested positive to at least one type of drug (see Table 55). The rate of drug use among East Perth detainees has decreased since collection began in 1999. This decrease is partly due to a decline in the proportion of detainees testing positive to cannabis. Nevertheless, in 2011–12, cannabis remained the most commonly detected drug among detainees, with 54 percent testing positive. This was followed by amphetamines (28%; including 26% methamphetamine), benzodiazepines (18%) and opiates (14%; including 6% buprenorphine, 4% heroin and 3% methadone—detainees can test positive to more than one substance). In 2011–12, female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (40% cf 25%), opiates (28% cf 10%) and benzodiazepines (26% cf 16%), while male detainees were more likely than females to test positive to cannabis (55% cf 51%).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a two percentage point decrease in positive tests for any drug (73% cf 71%). From 2011 to 2012, there were modest differences in drug use—a two percentage point decrease in positive cannabis tests (55 % cf 53%), a four percentage point decrease in positive benzodiazepine tests (19 % cf 15%) and a five percentage point decrease in positive opiate tests (15% cf 10%). In 2011–12, the percentage of detainees who tested positive to amphetamines in East Perth increased by eight percentage points from the rate recorded in 2009–10 (28% cf 20%).

Self-reported alcohol use

Alcohol use among detainees cannot be reliably tested using urinalysis. Instead, the DUMA survey relies on a range of questions regarding recent and lifetime alcohol use, including whether the detainee consumed alcohol in the 48 hours prior to their arrest. During 2011–12, approximately half (53%) of East Perth detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 48 hours prior to their arrest (see Table 56). Rates of recent alcohol consumption were consistent when compared with previous years. Male detainees were more likely than females to report drinking in the 48 hours prior to their arrest (55% cf 45%). Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of detainees reporting alcohol consumption in the 48 hours prior to arrest decreased by three percentage points (55% cf 52%).

Alcohol consumption patterns

In 2011–12, 80 percent of detainees reported consuming at least one alcohol drink in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 56). On the last occasion of drinking, 33 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 11 percent had consumed wine only and 36 percent had consumed spirits only, with the remaining 20 percent reporting having consumed at least two types of alcohol (referred to in the discussion below as mixed drinks) on the last occasion.

By quantity, the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion of drinking was 24, an increase in the reported average number of drinks since 2009–10 (16 standard drinks). Beer-only drinkers consumed an average of 10 standard drinks, wine-only drinkers consumed an average of 27 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed an average of 13 standard drinks on the last occasion. Those who mixed drinks tended to have the highest consumption rate at 40 standard drinks on average (up from an average of 28 standard drinks in 2009–10). Although these figures are high, it is important to note that the length of time spent drinking on the last occasion would vary from person to person and in some cases would have involved drinking sessions that lasted more than one day.

In 2011–12, differences between genders were seen in the type of alcohol consumed most recently by those who had consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days. Female detainees were more likely than males to have consumed spirits only (54% cf 32%) or wine only (20% cf 10%) on the last occasion, while males were more likely than females to have consumed beer only (36% cf 13%). The average quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was higher among male detainees than females across all alcohol types (see Table 56).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

In 2011–12, 119 East Perth detainees reported they were in a drug or alcohol treatment program at the time of their arrest. This figure represents approximately one in 10 (9%) of those who had used at least one illicit drug in the past 12 months and is three percentage points lower than in 2009–10 (13%). Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 430 detainees (34%) had previously been in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. Of detainees currently in treatment, 33 percent (n=37) had been referred by the courts or police or as a result of a legal order. The remaining 68 percent (n=77) had been self-referred or referred by a health practitioner (see Table 57). From 2011 to 2012, the proportion of those currently in treatment remained relatively stable.

Detainees were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or any other mental health-related issue (ie not just in the previous 12 months). In 2011–12, 31 percent of East Perth detainees reported having been diagnosed with a mental health-related issue, which was seven percentage points lower than in 2009–10 (38%; see Table 58). Female detainees were more likely than males to report a diagnosis of a mental health-related issue (36% cf 30%).

Linking drugs and crime

The link between drugs and crime is measured in the DUMA study using a range of indicators, including the extent to which drug use varies between offenders or different offence types and the extent to which an offender reports that drugs or alcohol were a factor that contributed to their most recent offending.

Of the 922 detainees who provided a urine sample, three in four (72%) tested positive to at least one drug type (see Table 59). From 2011 to 2012, there was a slight decrease, of two percentage points, in the number of detainees testing positive (73 cf 71%). By most serious offence type, the percentage of detainees testing positive to at least one type of drug varied, with drug offenders being most likely to test positive to recent drug use (90%; n=35). Test positive rates for other offence classifications were:

  • 85 percent for property offenders (n=120);
  • 74 percent for violent offenders (n=220);
  • 68 percent for traffic offenders (n=28);
  • 67 percent for breach offenders (n=196); and
  • 65 percent for disorder offenders (n=44).

Caution should be taken when making comparisons between offending categories and across collection periods, due to the presence of small cell sizes. In addition, in 2012, substantial changes were made to the DUMA methodology in regards to urine collection limiting comparability of findings with previous collection periods.

DUMA detainees are asked specific questions to identify the relationship between substance use and the commission of the offence(s) for which they are held in custody at the time of interview. During 2011–12, two in five East Perth detainees (41%) reported that substance use contributed to their current offending. By most serious offence, those detained on a drug or drink driving offence had the highest level of combined drug/alcohol attribution (51%, n=38 for drug offenders; 51%, n=20 for drink driving offenders). Proportionally, these were followed by:

  • 50 percent for violent offenders (n=253);
  • 44 percent for disorder offenders (n=55);
  • 38 percent for property offenders (n=102);
  • 35 percent for breach offenders (n=188); and
  • 25 percent for traffic offenders (n=21).

Alcohol was more likely than drug use to be identified by violent, drink driving, traffic, disorder and breach of justice offenders as a contributing factor in offending, whereas drug use was more likely than alcohol to be identified as a contributing factor for property and drug offenders (see Table 59).

Table 51 East Perth DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 220 16 41 14 261 15
21–25 357 25 68 23 425 25
26–30 268 19 49 17 317 19
31–35 189 13 48 16 237 14
36+ 374 27 88 30 462 27
Total 1,408 294 1,702
Min/max age 18/78 18/61 18/78
Mean age (median) 30(28) 31(30) 30(28)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 52 East Perth DUMA sample, by offence and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
Charges Detainees most serious offence Charges Detainees most serious offence Charges Detainees most serious offence
Charges recorded n % n % n % n % n % n %
Violent 778 21 440 32 83 12 63 22 861 20 503 30
Property 618 17 186 13 195 27 80 28 813 19 266 16
Drug 196 5 62 4 33 5 12 4 229 5 74 4
Drink driving 46 1 35 3 7 1 4 1 53 1 39 2
Traffic 281 8 69 5 45 6 15 5 326 7 84 5
Disorder 314 9 109 8 40 6 16 6 354 8 125 7
Breach 1,244 34 451 33 263 37 93 32 1,507 34 544 32
Other 181 5 35 3 51 7 5 2 232 5 40 2
Total 3,658 1,387 717 288 4,375 1,675

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 53 East Perth DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 680 51 123 45 803 50
No 662 49 152 55 814 50
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 209 15 32 11 241 15
No 1,167 85 254 89 1,421 85

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 54 East Perth DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 650 46 146 50 796 47
Year 11 or 12 259 18 57 19 316 19
TAFE/university not completed 162 12 37 13 199 12
Completed TAFE 290 21 46 16 336 20
Completed university 46 3 8 3 54 3
Total 1,407 294 1,701
Housing
Owned or rented by self 554 39 138 47 692 41
Someone else’s place 695 49 128 44 823 48
Shelter or emergency 9 1 1 0 10 1
Incarceration facility/halfway house 15 1 2 1 17 1
Treatment facility 8 1 0 0 8 0
No fixed residence 85 6 21 7 106 6
Other 41 3 4 1 45 3
Total 1,407 294 1,701
Employment
Full-time 425 30 16 5 441 26
Part-time 139 10 29 10 168 10
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 112 8 23 8 135 8
Looking for work 509 36 96 33 605 36
Not looking for work 166 12 59 20 225 13
Full-time homemakers 21 1 62 21 83 5
Retired or studying 36 3 9 3 45 3
Total 1,408 294 1,702

a: Sample size may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 55 East Perth DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urinea
Yes 774 74 162 76 936 75
No 268 26 52 24 320 25
Test results
Cannabis 424 55 83 51 507 54
Cocaine 2 0 0 0 2 0
Amphetaminesb 196 25 65 40 261 28
Methamphetamine 181 23 61 38 242 26
MDMA 1 0 0 0 1 0
Other amphetamines 14 2 4 2 18 2
Opiatesc 81 10 46 28 127 14
Heroin 25 3 15 9 40 4
Methadone 11 1 14 9 25 3
Buprenorphine 32 4 20 12 52 6
Other opiates 35 5 19 12 54 6
Benzodiazepines 126 16 42 26 168 18
Any drug 549 71 124 77 673 72
Any drug other than cannabis 317 41 94 58 411 44
Multiple drugs 222 29 72 44 294 31

a: Percentages have been calculated for the quarters in which urine samples were requested, which in 2011 was all 4 quarters and in 2012 was 2 out of 4 quarters

b: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

c: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 56 East Perth DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 770 55 131 45 901 53
Past 30 days 1,146 82 208 71 1,354 80
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 415 36 28 13 443 33
Wine only 114 10 41 20 155 11
Spirits only 369 32 112 54 481 36
Mixed drinksb 246 22 28 13 274 20
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)
Beer only 413 10(8) 27 9(6) 440 10(8)
Wine only 114 29(17) 41 24(17) 155 27(17)
Spirits only 367 13(9) 110 11(6) 477 13(9)
Mixed drinksb 246 40(32) 28 34(26) 274 40(30)

a: Only if consumed alcohol in the past 30 days

b: ‘Mixed drinks’ refers to consuming more than one type of alcohol

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 57 East Perth DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2011–12a,b
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Treatment
Never been in treatment 584 56 134 61 718 57
Been in, but not currently in treatment 369 35 61 28 430 34
Currently in treatment 94 9 25 11 119 9
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 20 22 5 21 25 22
Court diversion scheme 6 7 1 4 7 6
Police diversion scheme 1 1 0 0 1 1
Other legal order 4 4 0 0 4 4
Otherc 59 66 18 75 77 68

a: Treatment options include detoxification, rehabilitation program/therapeutic community, outpatient/counselling services, support groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous etc), methadone maintenance, naltrexone, buprenorphine and general practitioners

b: Only of those who had used drugs or alcohol in the past 12 months

c: ‘Other’ refers to ‘referral from general practitioner or health professional’ and ‘self-referral’

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 58 East Perth DUMA sample, by mental health and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Ever been diagnosed or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health-related issueb
Yes 419 30 103 36 522 31
No 959 70 184 64 1,143 69

a: Sample sizes may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Includes developmental, somatoform, dissociative, sexual or gender identity, paraphilia, eating or adjustment disorders

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 59 East Perth DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug–crime attributions by most serious offending, 2011–12a
Violent Property Drug Drink driving Traffic Disorder Breach Other Total
n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n %
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 168 57 86 61 24 62 4 21 19 46 35 51 153 52 12 48 501 54
Cocaine 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Amphetaminesb 81 27 56 39 18 46 3 16 18 44 9 13 68 23 5 20 258 28
Opiatesc 45 15 35 25 7 18 2 11 6 15 3 4 26 9 1 4 125 14
Benzodiazepines 69 23 33 23 3 8 1 5 3 7 7 10 46 16 5 20 167 18
(Any drug) 220 74 120 85 35 90 8 42 28 68 44 65 196 67 15 60 666 72
(Any drug other than cannabis) 143 48 83 58 25 64 6 32 19 46 17 25 105 36 9 36 407 44
(Multiple drugs) 104 35 61 43 16 41 2 11 14 34 9 13 79 27 6 24 291 32
(Total urine samples) 296 142 39 19 41 68 292 25 922
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond
Alcohol 173 34 46 17 13 18 20 51 16 19 49 39 145 27 15 38 477 28
Other drugs 123 24 73 27 30 41 3 8 7 8 14 11 73 13 3 8 326 19
Any attribution 253 50 102 38 38 51 20 51 21 25 55 44 188 35 17 43 694 41
(Total detainees interviewed) 503 266 74 39 84 125 544 40 1,675

a: Sample sizes may vary, as cases may have been excluded due to missing data

b: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

c: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

d: Missing data excluded from analysis

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 14 Test positive trends, males by drug type, East Perth, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 14 Test positive trends, males by drug type, East Perth, 1999–2012 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 15 Test positive trends, females by drug type, East Perth, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 15 Test positive trends, females by drug type, East Perth, 1999–2012 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]