Australian Institute of Criminology

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Southport

Sample

In 2011–12, 1090 detainees were interviewed at the Southport police watchhouse. The average age was 31 years and 86 percent were males. On average, male detainees were one year older than females (31 cf 30 years; see Table 87).

From 2011 to 2012, the number of detainees interviewed increased by five percent, although this increase was not equal for male and females. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 19 percent increase in the number of women interviewed and a two percent increase in the number of men interviewed. In 2011–12, the number of detainees processed during DUMA interview hours was not substantially different when compared with earlier years.

From 2011 to 2012, the average age of Southport detainees increased by one year (30 cf 31 years). By gender, the average age of female detainees increased by two years (29 cf 31 years), whereas the average age of male detainees was static across the two year period, at 31 years of age.

Offending

In 2011–12, Southport detainees were arrested and detained on a total of 2,919 charges. Consistent with previous years, the average number of charges per detainee was three. In 2011–12, charges for breach offences and property offences were those most commonly recorded, with each comprising 19 percent of total charges. This was followed by charges for drug offences (14%), traffic offences (11%), violent offences (11%), disorder offences (5%) and drink driving offences (3%). A further 17 percent of charges were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 88).

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, 31 percent of Southport detainees were categorised as breach offenders (an increase of 4 percentage points from 2009–10), 19 percent as violent offenders, 18 percent as property offenders, 10 percent as drug offenders, seven percent as drink driving offenders, seven percent as traffic offenders and five percent as disorder offenders. A further two percent were classified as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 88). From 2011 to 2012, there was a six percentage point increase in the number of detainees categorised as drug offenders (up to 13% in 2012) and a four percentage point decrease in disorder offenders (down to 3% in 2012). However, when compared with previous years, there were no notable differences in the offender categorisation distribution of detainees.

In 2011–12, different patterns of offending were observed between males and females. One in three male detainees was categorised as a breach offender (32%), followed by violence offender (21%) and property offender (17%). Female detainees were most likely to be categorised as a breach offender (28%), followed by a property offender (27%), a drug offender (14%) and a traffic offender (13%).

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2011–12, for half of the Southport detainees, the current episode of contact with the police was not an isolated incident—50 percent had been charged on at least one separate occasion in the 12 months prior to their arrest (see Table 89). Compared with 2011, detainees with a recent history of police contact in 2012 increased slightly (48% cf 52%). However, these figures were consistent with previous years. By gender, male detainees were more likely than female detainees to have been previously charged in the 12 months prior (51% cf 45%).

In 2011–12, less than one in five Southport detainees (15%) reported spending time in prison in the 12 months prior to their arrest. Male detainees were more likely than females to report a recent prison history (16% cf 11%). From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of detainees reporting a recent prison history remained stable, at 15 percent—a figure that was not notably different when compared with earlier years.

Education, housing and employment

In 2011–12, Year 10 was the highest level of education attained for 37 percent of Southport detainees (see Table 90). Two in five (43%) Southport detainees had attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification. Results were generally consistent between male and female detainees. Male detainees were more likely than females to have attained only Year 10 or less as their highest education level (38% cf 34%), whereas female detainees were more likely than males to have attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification (48% cf 43%).

Between 2011 and 2012, the most notable change for male detainees was a four percentage point decrease in attainment of Year 10 or less as their highest education level (down to 36% in 2012) and a four percentage point increase in attempted or completed post-secondary TAFE or university qualification (up to 45% in 2012). For females, there was an 18 percentage point decrease in attainment of Year 10 or less as their highest education level (down to 26% in 2012) and an 18 percentage point increase attempted or completed post-secondary TAFE or university qualification (up to 56% in 2012). These results represent an improvement in scholastic achievement from 2011 to 2012, particularly for females. The 2011–12 level of education of detainees was comparable with earlier collection periods.

In 2011–12, the majority of detainees (89%) reported residing in stable accommodation, which was owned or rented, either from a private owner or social housing, by them (54%) or someone else (35%). A small percentage of detainees (6%) reported having no fixed address (see Table 90). In 2011–12, the housing and accommodation status of detainees was comparable with previous years.

In 2011–12, one in three Southport detainees (33%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest, while 143 detainees (13%) reported being in part-time employment (see Table 90). The remaining 590 detainees (54%) were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 27 percent were looking for work (n=299);
  • 14 percent were not looking for work (n=153);
  • eight percent were not working either because they were on leave from work or due to illness, disability of the seasonal nature of their employment (n=85);
  • three percent were full-time homemakers (n=29); and
  • two percent were retired or studying (n=24).

From 2011 to 2012, these results were generally stable, with the exception of a six percentage point decrease in the number of detainees working full-time (36% cf 30%). The employment status of Southport detainees in 2011–12 was consistent with previous years.

By gender, male detainees were more likely to be employed full-time (36%) when compared with females (13%), who were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for work than males (22% cf 13%) or not working because of their role as a full-time homemaker (12% cf 1%). Caution should be exercised when interpreting gender comparisons due to the overrepresentation of males in the sample.

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 751 detainees who provided a urine sample, 72 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. The drug most commonly detected over the two year period was cannabis (50%), followed by amphetamines (26%; including 25% methamphetamine and 1% MDMA—detainees can test positive to more than one substance), benzodiazepines (21%) and opiates (17%; including 8% heroin, 7% buprenorphine and 2% methadone—detainees can test positive to more than one substance). In 2011–12, only 11 detainees tested positive to cocaine (1%; see Table 91). Compared with the 2009–10 collection, in 2011–12 there was an 11 percentage point increase in amphetamine use among Southport detainees (26% cf 15%). There were no other notable differences in the levels of drug use recorded compared with earlier collection periods.

In 2011–12, female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (32% cf 25%), opiates (23% cf 16%) and benzodiazepines (26% cf 20%). Male and female detainees were almost equally likely to test positive to cannabis (50% cf 51%) and buprenorphine (7% cf 8%).

From 2011 to 2012, there was an increase of four percentage points in test positive results (71% cf 75%). Test positive results for most categories of drug were relatively stable between 2011 and 2012, with the except of cannabis for which there was a seven percentage point increase (48% cf 55%) and amphetamine which had a four percentage point increase (25% cf 29%).

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 had consumed alcohol in the 48 hours prior to arrest. In 2011–12, 39 percent of Southport detainees had been drinking in the 48 hours prior to arrest (see Table 92). From 2011 to 2012, there was a 10 percentage point decrease in detainees who reported consuming alcohol in the 48 hours prior to arrest (44% cf 34%). In 2011–12, male detainees were almost twice as likely as females to have been drinking (41% cf 22%).

Alcohol consumption patterns

In 2011–12, 76 percent of detainees had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 92). On the last occasion of drinking, 38 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 11 percent had consumed wine only and 35 percent had consumed spirits only, with the remaining 15 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 was 21, an increase in the reported average number of drinks since 2009–10 (13 standard drinks). Beer-only drinkers consumed an average of nine standard drinks, wine-only drinkers drank an average of 21 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed an average of 12 standard drinks on the last occasion. Those who mixed drinks tended to have the highest consumption rate, at 31 standard drinks on average (up from an average of 23 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 have varied from person to person and in some cases would have involved drinking sessions that lasted more than one day.

During 2011–12, differences between genders were seen in the type of alcohol consumed most recently by those who had consumed alcohol in the 30 days prior to arrest. Over half of all female detainees who had consumed alcohol had consumed spirits only on the last occasion (55% cf 33% for males), whereas two in every five males had consumed beer only (41% cf 11% for females). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among males than females across all types of alcohol (see Table 92).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

In 2011–12, 77 Southport detainees reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest. This figure represents approximately nine percent 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 (12%). Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 297 detainees (36%) had been previously in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. Of detainees currently in treatment, 30 percent (n=23) had been referred by the courts or as a result of a legal order. The remaining 70 percent (n=54) were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner (See Table 93). Levels of access to treatment were consistent across 2011 to 2012 and comparable with earlier collection periods.

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, 34 percent of detainees reported having been diagnosed with a mental health-related issue. Female detainees were more likely than males to report a mental health diagnosis (54% cf 31%; see Table 94).

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 of 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 750 respondents who provided a urine sample, 72 percent tested positive to at least one type of drug (see Table 95). The prevalence of recent drug use varied by most serious offence category, with drug offenders most likely to test positive to at least one drug type (88%; n=49). Test positive rates for other offence classifications were:

  • 79 percent for property offenders (n=104);
  • 75 percent for violent offenders (n=106);
  • 74 percent for breach offenders (n=180);
  • 69 percent for disorder offenders (n=29);
  • 56 percent for drink driving offenders (n=34); and
  • 49 percent for traffic offenders (n=28).

Caution should be exercised when making comparisons between offender 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. In 2011–12, approximately half of Southport detainees (51%) reported that substance use contributed to their current offending. By most serious offence, those detained on a drink driving offence had the highest level of combined drug/alcohol attribution (66%; n=51). This was followed by:

  • 64 percent for disorder offenders (n=36);
  • 63 percent for drug offenders (n=68);
  • 54 percent for violent offenders (n=112);
  • 52 percent for property offenders (n=102);
  • 48 percent for breach offenders (n=166); and
  • 21 percent for traffic offenders (n=17).

Alcohol was more likely than drug use to be identified as a contributing factor by violent, drink driving, traffic and disorder offenders, whereas drug use was more likely than alcohol to be implicated by property, drug and breach offenders (See Table 95).

Table 87 Southport DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 147 16 22 15 169 16
21–25 206 22 30 20 236 22
26–30 184 20 37 25 221 20
31–35 145 15 22 15 167 15
36+ 259 28 38 26 297 27
Total 941 149 1,090
Min/max age 18/74 18/55 18/74
Mean age (median) 31(29) 30(28) 31(29)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 88 Southport 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 299 12 194 21 14 3 14 9 315 11 208 19
Property 447 18 158 17 104 25 40 27 551 19 198 18
Drug 338 13 87 9 71 17 21 14 409 14 108 10
Drink driving 88 4 67 7 9 2 9 6 98 3 76 7
Traffic 277 11 60 6 51 12 20 13 329 11 80 7
Disorder 146 6 54 6 7 2 2 1 153 5 56 5
Breach 498 20 302 32 64 16 41 28 562 19 343 31
Other 412 16 18 2 89 22 2 1 502 17 20 2
Total 2,505 940 409 100 149 2,919 1,089

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 89 Southport DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 458 51 64 45 522 50
No 446 49 77 55 523 50
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 144 16 16 11 160 15
No 766 84 125 89 891 85

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 90 Southport DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 353 38 51 34 404 37
Year 11 or 12 186 20 27 18 213 20
TAFE/university not completed 116 12 18 12 134 12
Completed TAFE 253 27 38 26 291 27
Completed university 33 4 15 10 48 4
Total 941 149 1,090
Housing
Owned or rented by self 495 53 92 62 587 54
Someone else’s place 335 36 44 30 379 35
Shelter or emergency 5 1 0 0 5 0
Incarceration facility/halfway house 11 1 0 0 11 1
Treatment facility 11 1 3 2 14 1
No fixed residence 60 6 4 3 64 6
Other 23 2 6 4 29 3
Total 940 149 1,089
Employment
Full-time 337 36 20 13 357 33
Part-time 120 13 23 15 143 13
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 73 8 12 8 85 8
Looking for work 260 28 39 26 299 27
Not looking for work 120 13 33 22 153 14
Full-time homemakers 11 1 18 12 29 3
Retired or studying 20 2 4 3 24 2
Total 941 149 1,090

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 91 Southport DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urinea
Yes 653 95 98 96 751 95
No 34 5 4 4 38 5
Test results
Cannabis 324 50 50 51 374 50
Cocaine 10 2 1 1 11 1
Amphetaminesb 165 25 31 32 196 26
Methamphetamine 159 24 29 30 188 25
MDMA 8 1 1 1 9 1
Other amphetamines 5 1 1 1 6 1
Opiatesc 105 16 23 23 128 17
Heroin 47 7 11 11 58 8
Methadone 12 2 3 3 15 2
Buprenorphine 46 7 8 8 54 7
Other opiates 29 4 4 4 33 4
Benzodiazepines 132 20 25 26 157 21
Any drug 467 72 76 78 543 72
Any drug other than cannabis 293 45 58 59 351 47
Multiple drugs 201 31 36 37 237 32

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 92 Southport DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 390 41 33 22 423 39
Past 30 days 743 79 83 56 826 76
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 306 41 9 11 315 38
Wine only 67 9 23 28 90 11
Spirits only 247 33 46 55 293 35
Mixed drinksb 123 17 5 6 128 15
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)
Beer only 305 10(7) 9 7(5) 314 9(7)
Wine only 67 24(17) 23 15(12) 90 21(15)
Spirits only 246 12(10) 46 9(6) 292 12(9)
Mixed drinksb 123 31(30) 5 25(21) 128 31(29)

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 93 Southport DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2011–12a,b
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Treatment
Never been in treatment 391 54 67 59 458 55
Been in, but not currently in treatment 266 37 31 27 297 36
Currently in treatment 61 8 16 14 77 9
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 13 21 1 6 14 18
Court diversion scheme 0 0 0 0 0 0
Police diversion scheme 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other legal order 8 13 1 6 9 12
Otherc 40 66 14 88 54 70

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 94 Southport 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 284 31 76 54 360 34
No 627 69 65 46 692 66

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 95 Southport 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 73 51 65 49 41 73 23 38 17 30 26 62 119 49 10 59 374 50
Cocaine 1 1 0 0 3 5 0 0 2 4 0 0 5 2 0 0 11 1
Amphetaminesb 31 22 47 36 21 38 14 23 9 16 4 10 68 28 2 12 196 26
Opiatesc 26 18 29 22 10 18 4 7 7 12 8 19 40 16 4 24 128 17
Benzodiazepines 37 26 27 20 13 23 8 13 3 5 7 17 59 24 3 18 157 21
(Any drug) 106 75 104 79 49 88 34 56 28 49 29 69 180 74 13 76 543 72
(Any drug other than cannabis) 68 48 77 58 29 52 22 36 19 33 14 33 116 48 6 35 351 47
(Multiple drugs) 47 33 47 36 25 45 11 18 9 16 12 29 81 33 5 29 237 32
(Total urine samples) 142 132 56 61 57 42 243 17 750
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond
Alcohol 74 35 45 23 10 9 48 62 12 15 33 59 93 27 5 25 320 29
Other drugs 57 27 70 35 64 59 5 6 5 6 8 14 96 28 3 15 308 28
Any attribution 112 54 102 52 68 63 51 66 17 21 36 64 166 48 7 35 559 51
(Total detainees interviewed) 209 198 108 77 80 56 343 20 1,091

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 22 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Southport, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 22 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Southport, 1999–2012 (%)

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 23 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Southport, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 23 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Southport, 1999–2012 (%)

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]