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East Perth

Demographic information

  • The DUMA program interviewed 1,153 detainees; they were an average of 31 years of age and 80 percent (n=923) were male (see Table 33).
  • Year 10 or less was the highest education level attained by 50 percent (n=581) of detainees (see Table 34).
  • Eighty-four percent (n=960) of detainees reported residing in stable accommodation (private or social housing), owned or rented by themselves (40%; n=455) or by someone else (44%; n=505), in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 34).
  • Twenty-one percent (n=247) of detainees reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest; 38 percent (n=438) of detainees reported being unemployed and looking for work (see Table 34).
  • Forty-seven percent (n=497) of detainees reported having been charged on a previous occasion in the past 12 months, and 20 percent (n=219) of detainees reported having been in prison in the past 12 months (see Table 35).
  • Twenty-three percent (n=268) of detainees reported being released from prison in the past one to 10 years and three percent (n=38) of detainees reported being released from prison more than 10 years ago (see Table 35a).
  • Thirty-four percent (n=1,039) of all charges recorded against detainees were for breach offences.
  • Detainees may have been charged with multiple offences; each detainee was categorised according to the most serious offence (MSO) they were charged with (see Technical Appendix). Thirty-three percent (n=371) of detainees were categorised in the MSO of breach (see Table 36).

Drug, alcohol and drug-crime attribution findings

  • Of the 457 detainees who provided a urine sample, 77 percent (n=351) tested positive to at least one drug type (see Table 37), which is five percentage points higher than the test positive rate in 2011–12 (72%), and continues a rise in test positive rates from the 2009–10 collection period (70%).
  • Test positive rates were highest for cannabis (53%; n=243), followed by amphetamines (39%; n=176), benzodiazepines (20%; n=91) and opiates (15%; n=69) (see Table 37).
  • Test positive rates were higher in 2013–14 than in 2011–12 for amphetamines (39% cf 28%), benzodiazepines (20% cf 18%) and opiates (15% cf 14%); test positive rates were slightly lower in 2013–14 than in 2011–12 for cannabis (53% cf 54%).
  • The increase in the test positive rate for amphetamines from 2011–12 to 2013–14 was mainly due to an 11 percentage point increase in detainees testing positive to methamphetamine (26% cf 37%). The test positive rate for amphetamines has continued to increase from the rate of 20 percent reported in the 2009–10 monitoring report.
  • Forty-five percent (n=518) of detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 48 hours prior to their arrest and 71 percent (n=808) of detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 30 days prior to their arrest (Table 38). These percentages have decreased since the 2011–12 collection period (53% and 80% respectively).
  • It was most common for detainees to report consuming spirits only on the last occasion of drinking (34%; n=170), followed by beer only (29%; n=146), two or more types of alcohol (25%; n=129) and wine only (12%; n=61) (see Table 38). Since 2011–12 there has been a decrease in the percentage of detainees who reported consuming spirits and beer only (36% and 33%, respectively, in 2011–12) and an increase in the percentage of detainees who reported consuming two or more types of alcohol, or wine, only on the last occasion of drinking (20% and 11% respectively in 2011–12).
  • The average total number of drinks consumed on the last occasion of drinking was 19, which was lower than the average reported in the 2011–12 monitoring report (24 standard drinks). Detainees who reported consuming two or more types of alcohol on the last occasion of drinking reported the highest level of consumption—on average, 35 standard drinks—followed by wine-only drinkers (22 standard drinks), spirit-only drinkers (12 standard drinks) and beer-only drinkers (11 standard drinks). This consumption pattern differed from the average number of standard drinks consumed per hour on the last occasion of drinking, which was highest for wine-only drinkers (7 standard drinks), followed by drinkers who consumed two or more types of alcohol (5 standard drinks) and spirit-only and beer-only drinkers (3 standard drinks for both) (see Table 38).
  • The consumption pattern for the average number of total drinks consumed on the last occasion of drinking was similar to the pattern reported in 2011–12; the average number of standard drinks consumed per hour on the last occasion of drinking was not reported in 2011–12.
  • Examining drug use by crime type, the MSO category with the highest percentage of detainees who tested positive to at least one type of drug was property (86%; n=81), followed by the MSO of violent (81%; n=100), breach (76%; n=107), disorder (74%; n=17), drug (68%; n=15), traffic (58%; n=14) and DUI (27%; n=3) (see Table 39).
  • Detainees whose MSO was DUI were more likely to identify alcohol than other drugs (such as cannabis, heroin, methamphetamine and MDMA) as a contributing factor in their current police detention (50% alcohol cf 11% other drugs), as were detainees whose MSO was violent (30% alcohol cf 27% other drugs), disorder (29% alcohol cf 10% other drugs) or breach (22% alcohol cf 12% other drugs). Detainees whose MSO was drug were more likely to identify drugs other than alcohol as a contributing factor in their current police detention (49% other drugs cf 5% alcohol), as were detainees whose MSO was property (31% other drugs cf 14% alcohol) or traffic (16% other drugs cf 9% alcohol) (see Table 39). This attribution pattern is similar to that reported in the 2011–12 monitoring report, with the exception of detainees whose MSO was traffic, who were more likely to identify alcohol than other drugs as a contributing factor in 2011–12.

Sample and demographics

Table 33 East Perth DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18-20 114 12 23 10 137 12
21-25 180 20 51 22 231 20
26-30 174 19 52 23 226 20
31-35 179 19 38 17 217 19
36+ 276 30 66 29 342 30
Total 923 230 1,153
Min/max age 18/71 18/57 18/71
Mean age (median) 32 (30) 31 (29) 31 (30)

a: Excludes cases where gender was unknown

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Education, housing and employment

Table 34 East Perth DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 473 51 108 47 581 50
Year 11 or 12 201 22 50 22 251 22
TAFE/university not completed 76 8 18 8 94 8
Completed TAFE 148 16 47 20 195 17
Completed university 24 3 7 3 31 3
Total 922 230 1,152
Housing
Owned or rented by self 368 40 87 38 455 40
Someone else’s place 401 44 104 45 505 44
Shelter or emergency 6 1 1 0 7 1
Incarceration facility/halfway house 12 1 1 0 13 1
Treatment facility 8 1 2 1 10 1
No fixed residence 101 11 32 14 133 12
Other 24 3 2 1 26 2
Total 920 229 1,149
Employment
Full-time 232 25 15 7 247 21
Part-time 91 10 24 10 115 10
Have job but not currently workingb 57 6 18 8 75 7
Looking for work 362 39 76 33 438 38
Not looking for work 160 17 65 28 225 20
Full-time homemakers 12 1 23 10 35 3
Studying 4 0 8 3 12 1
Retired 5 1 1 0 6 1
Total 923 230 1,153

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

b: Due to illness, leave, strike, disability or seasonal work

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Criminal justice contact

Table 35 East Perth DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 406 47 91 43 497 47
No 451 53 119 57 570 53
Prior prison history (past 12 months)b
Yes 191 21 28 12 219 20
No 705 79 198 88 903 80
Currently on parolec
Yes 45 7 7 5 52 6
No 640 93 144 95 784 94
Currently on probationc
Yes 26 4 6 4 32 4
No 659 96 145 96 804 96
Currently on community service orderc
Yes 47 7 10 7 57 7
No 637 93 141 93 778 93

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

b: Calculated as anyone who reported being released from prison up to 365 days ago

c: From Q3 2013 to Q1 2014 only those who had served time in prison were asked this question. From Q2 2014 onwards all detainees were asked this question. Detainees who skipped the question in Q3 2013 to Q1 2014 have been treated as missing data as it is unknown how they would have answered this question

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Table 35a East Perth DUMA sample, by prison history and gender, 2013–14
Male Female Total
Released from prison n % n % n %
Never been to prison 448 50 149 66 597 53
Up to one year ago 191 21 28 12 219 20
More than one year, up to two years ago 78 9 17 8 95 8
More than two years, up to four years ago 68 8 11 5 79 7
More than four years, up to six years ago 31 3 11 5 42 4
More than six years, up to eight years ago 24 3 1 0 25 2
More than eight years, up to ten years ago 24 3 3 1 27 2
More than ten years ago 32 4 6 3 38 3
Total 896 226 1,122

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Offending

Table 36 East Perth DUMA sample, by offence and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
Charges Detainees’ MSOb Charges Detainees’ MSOb Charges Detainees’ MSOb
Charges recorded n % n % n % n % n % n %
Violent 406 17 249 28 71 12 45 20 477 16 294 26
Property 456 19 177 20 194 32 58 26 650 22 235 21
Drug 162 7 50 6 38 6 9 4 200 7 59 5
DUIc 29 1 27 3 2 0 1 0 31 1 28 2
Traffic 255 11 59 7 20 3 8 4 275 9 67 6
Disorder 136 6 44 5 36 6 15 7 172 6 59 5
Breach 838 35 289 32 201 33 82 37 1,039 34 371 33
Other 125 5 9 1 45 7 3 1 170 6 12 1
Total 2,407 904 607 221 3,014 1,125

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

b: Detainees may have been charged with multiple offences; each detainee was categorised according to the most serious offence (MSO) that they were charged with (see Technical Appendix)

c: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Drug use

Table 37 East Perth DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urineb
Yes 378 63 79 59 457 63
No 219 37 54 41 273 37
Test results
Cannabis 202 53 41 52 243 53
Cocaine 3 1 0 0 3 1
Amphetaminesc 133 35 43 54 176 39
Methamphetamine 130 34 40 51 170 37
MDMA 4 1 2 3 6 1
Other amphetamines 3 1 3 4 6 1
Opiatesd 53 14 16 20 69 15
Heroin 26 7 4 5 30 7
Methadone 10 3 1 1 11 2
Buprenorphine 21 6 9 11 30 7
Other opiates 13 3 7 9 20 4
Benzodiazepines 75 20 16 20 91 20
Any drug 282 75 69 87 351 77
Any drug other than cannabis 183 48 52 66 235 51
Multiple drugs 135 36 33 42 168 37

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

b: Percentages have been calculated for the quarters in which urine samples were requested, which in 2013 was quarters 3 and 4 and in 2014 was quarters 1 and 3 (see Technical Appendix for further detail)

c: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

d: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Figure 11 Test positive trends, adult males by drug type, East Perth, 2002–2014 (%)

Note: Data were not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4 of 2012, quarters 1 and 2 of 2013, or quarters 2 and 4 of 2014

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2002–14 [computer file]

Figure 12 Test positive trends, adult females by drug type, East Perth, 2002–2014 (%)

Note: Data were not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 4 of 2012, quarters 1 and 2 of 2013, or quarters 2 and 4 of 2014

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2002–14 [computer file]

Self-reported alcohol use

Table 38 East Perth DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2013–14a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursb 431 47 87 38 518 45
Past 30 days 669 74 139 61 808 71
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 132 32 14 16 146 29
Wine only 40 10 21 24 61 12
Spirits only 133 32 37 43 170 34
Mixed drinksc 114 27 15 17 129 25
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (total standard drinks)
Beer only 129 12 (7) 14 4 (3) 143 11 (7)
Wine only 39 22 (13) 19 22 (16) 58 22 (14)
Spirits only 128 11 (8) 35 14 (11) 163 12 (8)
Mixed drinksc 114 35 (20) 15 29 (29) 129 35 (21)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks per hour)
Beer only 127 3 (3) 13 2 (2) 140 3 (2)
Wine only 38 7 (4) 17 7 (4) 55 7 (4)
Spirits only 120 3 (2) 34 3 (2) 154 3 (2)
Mixed drinksc 105 5 (3) 14 6 (3) 119 5 (3)

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

b: Only if consumed alcohol in the past 30 days

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Linking drugs and crime

Table 39 East Perth DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug-crime attributions by most serious offence category, 2013–14a
Violent Property Drug DUIb Traffic Disorder Breach Other Total
n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n %
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 73 59 52 55 6 27 3 27 11 46 15 65 76 54 4 67 240 54
Cocaine 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1 1 0 0 3 1
Amphetaminesc 51 41 48 51 12 55 1 9 8 33 6 26 45 32 2 33 173 39
Opiatesd 13 11 19 20 5 23 0 0 3 13 2 9 26 19 0 0 68 15
Benzodiazepines 24 20 31 33 5 23 0 0 2 8 4 17 23 16 0 0 89 20
(Any drug) 100 81 81 86 15 68 3 27 14 58 17 74 107 76 5 83 342 77
(Any drug other than cannabis) 66 54 65 69 12 55 1 9 9 38 8 35 66 47 2 33 229 52
(Multiple drugs) 48 39 51 54 7 32 1 9 7 29 7 30 46 33 1 17 168 38
(Total urine samples) 123 94 22 11 24 23 140 6 443
Self-reported drug-crime attribution
Alcohol 87 30 33 14 3 5 14 50 6 9 17 29 81 22 2 17 243 22
Other drugs 79 27 74 31 29 49 3 11 11 16 6 10 46 12 0 0 248 22
Any attribution 147 50 99 42 31 53 17 61 15 22 20 34 117 32 2 17 448 40
(Total detainees interviewed) 294 235 59 28 67 59 371 12 1,125

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

b: Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs

c: Includes methamphetamine, MDMA and other amphetamines

d: Includes heroin, methadone, buprenorphine and other opiates

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2013–14 [computer file]

Box 2 South Hedland

Little is known about patterns of substance use and crime in regional Western Australia (WA). In an attempt to better understand the alcohol and drug use of a regional offending population, the DUMA program was utilised to collect data in the Pilbara region of WA via a one-off data collection at South Hedland in the third quarter of 2013.

Regional locations are acknowledged to be unique and complex, with distinct patterns of drug use and offending behaviour (Carcach 2000). There has been a small but steady increase in Pilbara’s detected drug crimes over the last 10 years (WA Police 2012). Reported alcohol related assaults (both domestic and non-domestic) were also considerably higher in the Pilbara when compared with WA as a whole (Drug and Alcohol Office 2013). It is therefore important to investigate the links between drugs, alcohol and crime in the Pilbara region.

In South Hedland, 51 police detainees were interviewed and compared with a sample of 209 detainees from the regular DUMA site of East Perth. The South Hedland sample were significantly more likely than the East Perth sample to have consumed alcohol in the past 48 hours, to consume alcohol more frequently and to have consumed alcohol at higher levels. Detainees in both locations, but particularly at South Hedland, reported consuming in excess of two standard drinks on a single day. South Hedland detainees were 2.6 times more likely to state that they thought alcohol contributed ‘a lot’ to their offence than East Perth detainees.

The drug most commonly used by South Hedland detainees in the previous 30 days was cannabis. There were no reports of heroin or opiate use and only low reported levels of cocaine, ecstasy and inhalant use. In comparison with East Perth detainees, South Hedland detainees were significantly less likely to have used both cannabis and amphetamine-type stimulants. South Hedland detainees were also significantly less likely than East Perth detainees to report feeling dependent on cannabis or amphetamine-type stimulants. South Hedland detainees were more likely than East Perth detainees to attribute their current police detention to alcohol rather than illicit drug use.

The findings indicate that while illicit drug use among those interviewed in a regional setting was significantly lower across most drug types, alcohol use was higher. Of particular concern were the levels of risky drinking reported by South Hedland detainees and their assertions that alcohol contributed to their current police detention. These findings are important in informing stakeholders of the need to reduce the demand for, supply of and harms due to alcohol and other drugs in a regional population.

For further detail, see Drug Use Monitoring in Australia: An expansion into the Pilbara (Gately, Ellis & Morris forthcoming).