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National DUMA summary 2009–10

Sample and demographics

In the two years between January 2009 and December 2010, a total of 7,761 detainees were interviewed as part of the DUMA program. Of these, 7,575 (98%) were adults aged 18 years or over and 186 (2%) were juveniles. Juveniles are only interviewed, subject to parental consent, in DUMA’s three New South Wales sites—Parramatta, Bankstown and Kings Cross. The majority of adult detainees were male (83%) and, on average, 31 years of age at the time of interview (see Table 2).

Overall, the number of detainees surveyed in 2010 was lower than in 2009 (down by three percentage points or 129 detainees) but not notably different when compared with earlier years. Within the modest decline in 2010 was a disproportionate fall in the number of interviews conducted with women (down by five percentage points or 32 female detainees). However, the decline was largely the result of a fall in the number of detainees processed by the police during the hours in which DUMA interviewing occurred (down by nine percentage points cf 2009). The average age of detainees in 2010 was higher than in 2009 (32 years cf 31 years) but not significantly different compared with previous years. Of those 7,761 detainees who were interviewed in 2009 and 2010, 75 percent also provided a urine sample, which is also not substantially different when compared with recent years.

Offending

For each detainee interviewed, as many as 10 different charges may be recorded as part of the DUMA interview schedule. Across both 2009 and 2010, the average number of charges per person was two—ranging from one to the maximum of 10. This is consistent with previous years. The total number of charges recorded across the two years was 17,311.

Aggregated across all sites, property offences comprised the highest overall proportion of charges recorded against DUMA detainees (20%), followed closely by violent charges (19%) and charges for breach of a justice order (18%). Drug charges, including drug possession, supply and trafficking, comprised nine percent of all charges recorded between 2009 and 2010, followed by road and traffic charges (9%), disorder charges (8%) and drink driving charges (3%). Finally, a further 2,368 charges were recorded as ‘other charges’ not otherwise classified into the categories listed above (see Table 3). In 2010, the proportion of charges recorded as a breach of justice order increased by six percentage points compared with the previous year (21% cf 15% in 2009), while there was a similar decrease in the proportion of ‘other charges’.

Not all DUMA data collection sites see the same type of offender—there were different distributions of charges in different sites across the two-year period (see Table 3b). Violent offending, for example, appeared more prevalent among detainees interviewed at Bankstown (25%), Parramatta (24%), Brisbane (22%) and Adelaide (22%) compared with those interviewed at Southport (11%), Footscray (13%) and Kings Cross (13%). Property offending was disproportionately over-represented at Footscray (40%), Parramatta (27%) and Brisbane (25%) when compared with the remaining sites, in which property charges comprised between 12 and 21 percent. For most sites, drug charges comprised approximately 10 percent of all charges recorded, except in Brisbane (14%), Footscray (24%) and Kings Cross (30%).

Some sites also exhibited some changes throughout 2009–10. At Parramatta in 2010, for example, there was an eight percentage point decrease in the proportion of recorded property charges compared with 2009. In Kings Cross, the proportion of charges for drug possession, supply or trafficking decreased by half in 2010 to 22 percent, down from 44 percent in 2009. Substantial year-on-year shifts are most likely to reflect changes in policing practice and may be influenced by the implementation of specific policing operations during the DUMA data collection periods.

The most serious offence classification—an approach that categorises each DUMA detainee according to the most serious charge listed on their charge sheet—has been used consistently since 1999. In 2009–10, 27 percent of detainees were classified as most serious violent offenders, having at least one violent offence recorded. Of the remaining 73 percent, 21 percent were property offenders, 19 percent were breach offenders, eight percent were drug offenders, eight percent were disorder offenders, seven percent were road and traffic offenders and five percent were drink driving offenders. A further six percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not classified into the categories listed above (see Table 3).

In 2009 and 2010 there was a further decrease in the proportion of property offenders that were processed and interviewed. This is consistent with a longer-term change in the DUMA data and reflects other sources that have similarly shown an aggregate decline in property offending and a commensurate increase in violent offending (AIC 2011).

In 2009–10 male detainees were more likely than female detainees to be arrested for a violent offence (see Table 3). One in four male detainees, for example, was detained for a violent offence (28%) compared with one in five females (21%). For males, violence is the single most frequently recorded offence type, followed by property (19%), breach (19%), disorder (8%) and drug offences (8%). For female detainees, property offences (30%) outnumber violent offences (21%) and breach offences (15%). In 2010, breach of justice orders for both male detainees and female detainees rose by seven and six percentage points respectively compared with 2009.

Prior criminal justice contact

For more than half of all DUMA detainees interviewed throughout 2009–10 the current episode of contact with the police was not an isolated incident: 51 percent had been charged on a separate occasion with at least one additional offence in the previous 12 months (see Table 4). This was unchanged between 2009 and 2010 (52% cf 51%) and not notably different from the results in previous years. In 2009–10, an almost equal proportion of male and female detainees had been charged on a separate occasion in the previous 12 months (52% cf 50%).

One in six DUMA detainees (17%) had spent some time in prison in the previous 12 months. Males were more likely than females to report a recent prison history (17% cf 13%). There was a four percentage point decrease between 2009 and 2010 in the proportion of detainees that had spent time in prison in the previous 12 months (19% cf 15%)—the lowest level of prior imprisonment in the 13-year history of DUMA was recorded in 2010.

Education, housing and employment

For almost half (49%) of all detainees interviewed throughout 2009–10, Year 10 was the highest level of education attained (see Table 5). One in three had attempted or completed a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification—results that were generally consistent between male and female detainees and consistent with previous years’ analyses. It should be noted, however, that at some data collection sites there have been a number of notable changes in educational attainment. In Darwin, for example, there was a 14 percentage point decrease in the proportion that only completed up to Year 10 and a commensurate increase in the number of detainees who had completed Year 12 or above. This represents an overall improvement in scholastic achievement among detainees in that location.

Nearly all detainees (88%) reported most recently residing in a private residence (in the 30 days before their arrest), although more detainees reported living in a privately owned or rented residence (48%) than in a residence owned or rented by someone else (40%). A small number of detainees (6%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 5)—findings consistent with previous years. The housing situation of both male and female detainees was generally static over time with no substantial differences.

One in three detainees (29%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest, while one in 10 (11%) were employed part-time (see Table 5). The remaining 60 percent were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 2,041 (27%) were looking for work;
  • 1,226 (16%) were not looking for work;
  • 845 (11%) were not working either because they were on leave from work or due to illness, disability or the seasonal nature of their employment;
  • 276 (4%) were full-time homemakers; and
  • 221 (3%) were retired or studying.

These results remained generally consistent between 2009 and 2010 and have not altered significantly when compared with previous years.

Male detainees were more likely to be employed full-time or part-time (43%) compared with female detainees (22%), who were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for work (23% cf 15%) or working as a full-time homemaker (17% cf 1%). Across 2009–10, the employment status of male detainees remained consistent, whereas for female detainees there were some notable changes. In 2010, for example, a lower proportion of female detainees reported working full-time (down four percentage points) and a higher proportion reported being disabled and unable to work. More substantial changes were recorded within individual sites such as Darwin, where, for example, the proportion of male detainees who reported working full-time decreased by 14 percentage points.

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 positive to amphetamines and opiates (not including pharmacotherapies). Opiates were then classified as either heroin or other opiates (including codeine and morphine). Amphetamines were classified as methamphetamine, MDMA, or other amphetamines (including prescription amphetamines).

Of the 5,714 detainees who provided a urine sample (75% of those interviewed), 66 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. This figure is lower than in previous years and is consistent with the gradual decline in the use of any drug since the peak at 77 percent in 2004. The drug most commonly detected was cannabis (46%), followed by benzodiazepines (23%), opiates (22%) and amphetamines (16%). Only 116 detainees tested positive to cocaine in 2009 and 2010 (2%). Of those who tested positive to amphetamines, the majority were confirmed to have used methamphetamine (15%). Only 66 detainees had used MDMA (1%) and 71 detainees tested positive to another amphetamine type substance (1%). Of those who tested positive to an opiate-based substance, 13 percent tested positive to heroin, eight percent tested positive to buprenorphine, six percent tested positive to methadone and four percent tested positive to other opiate-based substances (see Table 6).

Female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to amphetamines (21% cf 16%), opiates (34% cf 19%) and benzodiazepines (36% cf 21%). Male detainees were only slightly more likely than females to test positive to cannabis (47% cf 45%). Urinalysis results in 2009 and 2010 were almost identical (65% cf 66% positive tests). Test positive results for most categories of drug were generally stable, with a two percentage point decrease in positive cannabis tests (47% cf 45%), a three percentage point increase in positive methamphetamine tests (13% cf 16%), a one percentage point decrease in positive heroin tests (13% cf 12%) and no notable change in buprenorphine tests (8% in each year) or benzodiazepine tests (23% in each year).

Between January 2009 and December 2010, 46 percent of detainees tested positive to cannabis. There has been a continuing decrease in the use of cannabis since its peak at 61 percent in 1999. Detainees aged between 18 and 20 years were the most likely to test positive to cannabis (57%), followed by those aged 21 to 25 years (52%), 31 to 35 years (49%), 26 to 30 years (46%) and 36 years or more (37%). Calculations based on each detainee’s most serious charge identified few differences in cannabis use across the offence spectrum. Although drug offenders were most likely to test positive to cannabis (51%), they were only marginally more likely to test positive than disorder offenders (49%), road and traffic offenders (48%), breach offenders (48%), property offenders (47%) and violent offenders (46%). In 2010, there was an eight percentage point decrease in the proportion of driving offenders (including road traffic and drink driving offenders) using cannabis. All other offender types showed only marginal but not significant changes in cannabis use as measured by urinalysis (see Table 6a).

Two percent of detainees tested positive to cocaine in 2009 and 2010 combined. This figure has remained stable when compared with previous years. Of the 116 detainees who tested positive, the majority were male and although the numbers were small, females (3%) were slightly more likely than male detainees (2%) to test positive to cocaine. This finding is consistent with data for the general population, which shows that cocaine use is higher among females than males (AIHW 2011). Similarly, although the sample size was too small to facilitate statistical testing, it was interesting to note that detainees aged 31 to 35 years were most likely to test positive to cocaine (3%), followed by those aged 21 to 25 years (2%), 26 to 30 years (2%) and 36 plus years (2%). Younger detainees aged 18 to 20 years were least likely to test positive to cocaine (1%). By most serious charge, cocaine use appeared more prevalent among drug offenders (10%) than any other offender type (see Table 6d).

In 2009 and 2010, 16 percent of detainees tested positive to amphetamines—a result that continued the ongoing decline in amphetamines use from a peak of 34 percent in 2004. Though not significant, it is interesting to note that the rate at which detainees tested positive to amphetamines rose slightly (3%) in 2010. (Although not canvassed in this annual report, early figures for 2011 suggest that the downward trend in amphetamines use has ended, given significant increases in amphetamines use in 2011 (see Macgregor & Payne 2011)). Female detainees (21%) were more likely than male detainees (16%) to test positive to amphetamines and the modest increase in amphetamines use in 2010 was evident among both males and females. By age, detainees aged 31 to 35 years were most likely to test positive to amphetamines in 2009–10 (23%), followed by those aged 26 to 30 years (19%), 21 to 25 years (17%) and 36 plus years (16%). Similar to observations on cocaine use, younger detainees aged 18 to 20 years (9%) were the least likely to test positive to amphetamines (see Table 6b). The marginal increase in amphetamines use was evident across all age groups with the exception of those aged 21 to 25 years. The largest year-on-year increase was seen among those aged 26 to 30 years (22%, up from 16% in 2009). Across most serious offence types, drug offenders were most likely to test positive to amphetamines (32%), followed by breach offenders (18%), road and traffic offenders (18%) and property offenders (18%). Violent offenders were among those least likely to test positive to amphetamines (13%), as were drink driving offenders (9%) and disorderly conduct offenders (7%). From 2009 to 2010, there was a higher than average increase (up nine percentage points) in the test positive rate for amphetamines for drug offenders (28% cf 37%).

Thirteen percent of detainees tested positive to heroin in 2009 and 2010 and at a national level this remains relatively unchanged since the unprecedented fall in heroin use in 2001. Female detainees (20%) were significantly more likely than male detainees (11%) to have recently used heroin and, by age, heroin use was more prevalent among those aged 31 to 35 years (20%) than those aged 26 to 30 years (16%), 36 plus years (13%), 21 to 25 years (9%) and 18 to 20 years (5%). The test positive rate for detainees aged 26 to 30 years in 2010 decreased by four percentage points compared with 2009 (18% cf 14%) but increased by five percentage points among those aged 31 to 35 years (18% cf 23%). By most serious offence type, those detained on drug charges were most likely to test positive to heroin (26%), followed closely by property offenders (21%) and breach offenders (12%). Heroin test positive rates were below average among violent offenders (7%), disorder offenders (6%), road and traffic offenders (5%) and drink driving offenders (3%) (see Table 6c).

Overall, in 2009 and 2010, 23 percent of detainees tested positive to benzodiazepines. This was consistent with results from previous years. Female detainees (36%) were more likely than male detainees (21%) to test positive to benzodiazepines. By age, detainees aged 31 to 35 years had the highest test positive rate for benzodiazepines (32%), followed by those aged 26 to 30 years (28%), 36 years or older (27%), 21 to 25 years (17%) and 18 to 20 years (10%). In 2010, the test positive rate for detainees aged 31 to 35 years increased by five percentage points compared with the previous year (34% cf 29% in 2009). Unlike all other drug types, where most serious drug offenders were most likely to test positive for benzodiazepines, most serious property offenders had the highest overall test positive rate (31%), followed closely by drug offenders (30%), breach offenders (23%), violent offenders (20%), disorder offenders (19%), drink driving offenders (14%) and road and traffic offenders (13%; see Table 6e).

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 before their arrest. Overall in 2009 and 2010, 47 percent of detainees had been drinking alcohol in the 48 hours before their arrest and detention. There were no notable differences between 2009 and 2010, although together the results are consistent with a gradual increase in recent alcohol consumption since 2001, when only 38 percent reported consuming alcohol in the previous 48 hours. Male detainees were more likely to have been recently drinking than female detainees (49% cf 37%).

Alcohol consumption patterns

In the third quarter of 2009, changes were made to the DUMA survey in an effort to capture a wider range of information about detainees’ alcohol consumption. In particular, an alcohol consumption grid was developed to identify both the type and quantity of alcohol consumed during the last episode of drinking. Units of consumption can therefore be disaggregated both by size and strength so that standard drink estimates can be developed.

In all, 74 percent of detainees had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days before their arrest. On the last occasion of drinking, 33 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, 13 percent had consumed wine only and 32 percent had consumed spirits only. It was not uncommon for detainees to have mixed different types of alcohol: the remaining 21 percent reported having consumed at least two types of alcohol on the last occasion.

In terms of quantity, the average number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion was 14, and this was consistent in both 2009 and 2010. Beer-only drinkers consumed an average of nine standard drinks, while wine-only drinkers drank an average of 17 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed an average of 10 standard drinks on the last occasion of drinking. Those who mixed drinks tended to have the highest consumption rate, at 24 standard drinks. Although these figures are high, it is important to note that the length of time spent drinking on the last occasion is unknown and would have varied from person to person.

Female detainees were more likely than males to have most recently consumed spirits or wine, while males were more likely than females to drink beer. Almost half of all female detainees who had consumed alcohol in the previous 30 days had consumed spirits only on the last occasion (44% cf 30% for males), whereas more than one-third of all male detainees had consumed beer only (36% cf 16% for females). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among males than females across all alcohol types (see Table 7).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

Six hundred and thirty detainees reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest. This figure represented approximately 14 percent of those who had used at least one illicit drug in the past 12 months. Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 1,410 detainees had been previously in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest (see Table 8). Overall, there were no notable differences compared with previous years in the levels of access to treatment (either current or past treatment). Of those currently in treatment, almost one in four had been referred by the courts or police or as a result of a legal order. The remaining 77 percent were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner.

Questions relevant to the mental health of detainees were revised in the third quarter of 2009. In the first two quarters, detainees were asked whether they had stayed overnight in a psychiatric or psychological services unit on at least one occasion in the previous 12 months, whereas, in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, detainees were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health related issue (that is, not just in the previous 12 months). Overall, 84 detainees (5%) reported at least one overnight stay in a psychiatric unit and 2,083 detainees (38%) reported having been previously diagnosed with a mental health related issue (see Table 9).

Though the numbers are small, female detainees and male detainees were equally likely to report an overnight stay in a psychiatric unit (5%, respectively) and female detainees were more likely to report having been previously diagnosed with a mental health related issue (51% cf 36%). Given that the new questions regarding mental health diagnosis were first implemented in the third quarter of 2009, reliable trend data is not yet available.

Linking drugs and crime

The link between drug use 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.

In mid-2009 a set of new questions was developed in an effort to quantify the relationship between substance use (drugs and/or alcohol) and the offences for which detainees were in custody at the time of interview. When asked, nearly half of all detainees (45%) confirmed that substance use had contributed to their current offences. By most serious offence type, those detained on a drink driving offence had the highest level of combined drug/alcohol attribution (79%), followed by drug offenders (60%), disorder offenders (50%), violent offenders (45%), property offenders (42%), breach offenders (42%) and road and traffic offenders (22%). Alcohol was more likely than other substances to be identified as a contributing factor by violent, drink driving, road and traffic, disorder and breach offenders, whereas other substances such as heroin and amphetamines were more likely than alcohol to be implicated by property and drug offenders (see Table 10).

Table 2: National DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Age
18–20 898 14 160 13 1,058 14
21–25 1,343 21 277 22 1,620 21
26–30 1,216 19 255 20 1,471 19
31–35 896 14 188 15 1,084 14
36+ 1,963 31 378 30 2,341 31
Total 6,316 1,258 7,574
Min/max age 18/80 18/69 18/80
Mean age (median) 31(29) 31(29) 31(29)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 2b: National DUMA sample, by location, age and gender, 2009–10 (%)
AdelaideBankstownBrisbaneDarwinEast PerthFootscrayKings CrossParramattaSouthportAll sites
Males
18–20 13 15 12 15 17 11 14 15 15 14
21–25 22 18 20 22 23 19 17 19 23 21
26–30 18 17 19 18 20 19 18 21 20 19
31–35 15 14 13 14 14 23 14 10 13 14
36+ 31 36 35 32 26 29 37 35 29 31
Min/max age 18/77 18/69 18/79 18/64 18/75 18/80 18/68 18/75 18/77 18/80
Mean age (median) 32(29) 33(31) 33(30) 31(29) 30(28) 32(31) 32(31) 32(29) 31(29) 31(29)
Females
18–20 8 12 8 15 15 14 9 15 19 13
21–25 25 20 20 25 23 19 23 15 23 22
26–30 18 25 18 9 23 26 22 19 19 20
31–35 19 14 21 15 14 13 11 8 10 15
36+ 31 28 32 36 26 28 34 44 29 30
Min/max age 18/55 18/61 18/66 18/53 18/60 18/69 18/65 18/60 18/68 18/69
Mean age (median) 31(31) 31(29) 33(32) 32(31) 30(28) 30(28) 32(30) 33(34) 30(27) 31(29)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 3: National DUMA sample, by offence and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
ChargesDetainees most serious offenceChargesDetainees most serious offenceChargesDetainees most serious offence
Charges recordedn%n%n%n%n%n%
Violent 2,899 20 1,753 28 367 13 256 21 3,266 19 2,009 27
Property 2,652 18 1,156 19 871 30 369 30 3,523 20 1,525 21
Drug 1,290 9 494 8 275 10 120 10 1,565 9 614 8
Drink driving 411 3 323 5 75 3 62 5 486 3 385 5
Traffic 1,317 9 425 7 188 6 64 5 1,505 9 489 7
Disorder 1,236 9 519 8 205 7 100 8 1,441 8 619 8
Breach 2,681 19 1,184 19 476 16 189 15 3,157 18 1,373 19
Other 1,931 13 331 5 437 15 71 6 2,368 14 402 5
Total 14,417 6,185 2,894 1,231 17,311 7,416

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 2010 [computer file]

Table 3b: National DUMA sample, by location and offence, 2009–10 (%)
Charges recordedAdelaideBankstownBrisbaneDarwinEast PerthFootscrayKings CrossParramattaSouthportAll sites
Violent 22 25 22 21 18 13 13 24 11 19
Property 20 21 25 12 17 40 17 27 18 20
Drug 5 7 14 2 6 24 30 5 7 9
Drink driving 2 3 1 8 2 2 7 3 4 3
Traffic 11 11 6 11 9 5 3 6 12 9
Disorder 16 10 6 10 9 3 7 10 6 8
Breach 13 10 15 16 28 6 11 10 20 18
Other 10 13 12 20 12 8 10 15 23 14

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 4: National DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 2,935 52 543 50 3,478 51
No 2,743 48 551 50 3,294 49
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 1,055 17 154 13 1,209 17
No 5,033 83 1035 87 6,068 83

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 5: National DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Education
Year 10 or less 2,874 46 613 49 3,487 46
Year 11 or 12 1,238 20 233 19 1,471 19
TAFE/university not completed 753 12 163 13 916 12
Completed TAFE 1,127 18 174 14 1,301 17
Completed university 320 5 74 6 394 5
Total 6,312 1,257 7,569
Housing
Private house/apartment 2,948 47 651 52 3,599 48
Someone else’s place 2,561 41 461 37 3,022 40
Shelter or emergency 41 1 12 1 53 1
Incarceration facility/halfway house 68 1 8 1 76 1
Treatment facility 52 1 5 0 57 1
No fixed residence 289 5 65 5 354 5
Other 303 5 43 3 346 5
Total 6,262 1,245 7,507
Employment
Full-time 2,008 32 153 12 2,161 29
Part-time 685 11 118 9 803 11
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 708 11 137 11 845 11
Looking for work 1,740 28 301 24 2,041 27
Not looking for work 938 15 288 23 1,226 16
Full-time homemakers 58 1 218 17 276 4
Retired or studying 178 3 43 3 221 3
Total 6,315 1,258 7,573

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 2010 [computer file]

Table 6: National DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Provided urine
Yes 4,821 76 892 71 5,713 75
No 1,495 24 366 29 1,861 25
Test results
Cannabis 2,256 47 397 45 2,653 46
Cocaine 90 2 26 3 116 2
Methamphetamine 664 14 167 19 831 15
MDMA 62 1 4 0 66 1
Other amphetamines 53 1 18 2 71 1
(Any amphetamines)a (753) (16) (185) (21) (938) (16)
Heroin 540 11 176 20 716 13
Methadone 228 5 137 15 365 6
Buprenorphine 323 7 129 14 452 8
Other opiates 195 4 45 5 240 4
(Any opiate)b (934) (19) (302) (34) (1,236) (22)
Benzodiazepines 1,005 21 320 36 1,325 23
Any drug 3,111 65 634 71 3,745 66
Any drug other than cannabis 1,858 39 497 56 2,355 41
Multiple drugs 1,333 28 383 43 1,716 30

a: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of amphetamine

b: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of opiate

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 6a: Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to cannabis, 2009–10
PositiveNot positive
n%n%
Gender
Male 2,256 47 2,565 53
Female 397 45 495 55
Age
18–20 472 57 349 43
21–25 635 52 594 48
26–30 502 46 587 54
31–35 386 49 404 51
36+ 658 37 1,127 63
Most serious charge
Violent 690 46 820 54
Property 545 47 625 53
Drug 243 51 229 49
Drink driving 86 31 193 69
Traffic 179 48 191 52
Disorder 214 49 223 49
Breach 520 48 563 48
Other 147 49 155 49

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 1: Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cannabis, by year (%)

 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to cannabis, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the four original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 6b: Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to amphetamines, 2009–10
PositiveNot positive
n%n%
Gender
Male 753 16 4,069 84
Female 185 21 707 79
Age
18–20 70 9 751 91
21–25 205 17 1,025 83
26–30 204 19 885 81
31–35 181 23 609 77
36+ 278 16 1,507 84
Most serious charge
Violent 192 13 1,318 87
Property 214 18 956 82
Drug 151 32 321 68
Drink driving 26 9 253 91
Traffic 67 18 303 82
Disorder 30 7 407 93
Breach 193 18 891 82
Other 54 18 248 82

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 2: Trends for adult detainees who test positive to amphetamines, by year (%)

  Trends for adult detainees who test positive to amphetamines, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the four original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 6c: Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to heroin, 2009–10
PositiveNot positive
n%n%
Gender
Male 540 11 4,280 89
Female 176 20 715 80
Age
18–20 37 5 784 95
21–25 114 9 1,115 91
26–30 175 16 913 84
31–35 159 20 631 80
36+ 231 13 1,553 87
Most serious charge
Violent 110 7 1,400 93
Property 248 21 921 79
Drug 123 26 347 74
Drink driving 7 3 272 97
Traffic 19 5 351 95
Disorder 26 6 411 94
Breach 129 12 955 88
Other 36 12 266 88

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 3: Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to heroin, by year (%)

 Trends for adult detainees who tested positive to heroin, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the four original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 6d: Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to cocaine, 2009–10
PositiveNot positive
n%n%
Gender
Male 90 2 4,731 98
Female 26 3 866 97
Age
18–20 9 1 812 99
21–25 26 2 1,203 98
26–30 24 2 1,065 98
31–35 22 3 768 97
36+ 35 2 1,750 98
Most serious charge
Violent 20 1 1,490 99
Property 22 2 1,148 98
Drug 46 10 426 90
Drink driving 3 1 276 99
Traffic 3 1 367 99
Disorder 5 1 432 99
Breach 6 1 1,077 99
Other 6 2 296 98

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 4: Trends for adult detainees who test positive to cocaine, by year (%)

 Trends for adult detainees who test positive to cocaine, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the four original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 6e: Characteristics of detainees who tested positive to benzodiazepines, 2009–10
PositiveNot positive
n%n%
Gender
Male 1,005 21 3,816 79
Female 320 36 572 64
Age
18–20 84 10 737 90
21–25 209 17 1,020 83
26–30 305 28 754 72
31–35 250 32 540 68
36+ 477 27 1,308 73
Most serious charge
Violent 307 20 1,203 80
Property 364 31 806 69
Drug 140 30 332 70
Drink driving 38 14 241 86
Traffic 47 13 323 87
Disorder 81 19 356 19
Breach 252 23 831 23
Other 74 25 228 25

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Figure 5: Trends for adult detainees who test positive to benzodiazepines, by year (%)

 Trends for adult detainees who test positive to benzodiazepines, by year (%)

Note: Only includes the four original DUMA sites—Southport, East Perth, Bankstown and Parramatta

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 7: National DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 3,065 49 467 37 3,532 47
Past 30 daysb 3,518 76 552 61 4,070 74
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasionb
Beer only 1,270 36 86 15 1,356 33
Wine only 397 11 136 25 533 13
Spirits only 1,071 30 242 44 1,313 32
Mixed drinksc 776 22 91 16 867 21
MaleFemaleTotal
nmean (median)nmean (median)nmean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)b
Beer only 1,263 9(6) 84 7(5) 1,347 9(6)
Wine only 390 17(10) 133 15(7) 523 17(9)
Spirits only 1,059 11(8) 241 9(6) 1,300 10(7)
Mixed drinksc 776 25(20) 91 17(13) 867 24(19)

a: Only if consumed alcohol in the past 30 days

b: Data are quarter 3 2009 onwards only

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 8: National DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2009–10a, b
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Treatment
Never been in treatment 2,012 55 328 45 2,340 53
Been in, but not currently in treatment 1,189 33 221 30 1,410 32
Currently in treatment 446 12 184 25 630 14
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 62 14 13 7 75 12
Court diversion scheme 16 4 5 3 21 3
Police diversion scheme 3 1 0 0 3 0
Other legal order 40 9 11 6 51 8
Otherc 320 73 154 84 474 76

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 2010 [computer file]

Table 9: National DUMA sample, by mental health status and gender, 2009–10
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Ever been diagnosed or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health related issuea
Yes 68 5 16 5 84 5
No 1,404 95 281 95 1,685 95
Ever been diagnosed or received treatment for depression, anxiety or any other mental health related issueb
Yes 1,630 36 453 51 2,083 38
No 2,908 64 437 49 3,345 62

a: Data are for quarter 1 and quarter 2 2009 only

b: Data are for quarter 3 2009 onwards only

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 10: National DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug–crime attributions by most serious offending, 2009–10a
ViolentPropertyDrugDrink drivingTrafficDisorderBreachOtherTotal
(n=1,510)%(n=1,170)%(n=472)%(n=279)%(n=370)%(n=437)%(n=1,084)%(n=302)%(n=5,624)%
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 679 45 521 45 242 51 92 33 183 49 204 47 499 46 146 48 2,566 46
Cocaine 20 1 22 2 46 10 3 1 3 1 5 1 6 1 6 2 111 2
Amphetaminesb 192 13 214 18 151 32 26 9 67 18 30 7 193 18 54 18 927 16
Opiatesc 217 14 391 33 166 35 20 7 54 15 56 13 237 22 68 23 1,209 21
Benzodiazepines 307 20 364 31 140 30 38 14 47 13 81 19 252 23 74 25 1,303 23
Any drug 900 60 822 70 388 82 129 46 235 64 267 61 753 69 200 66 3,694 66
Any drug other than cannabis 514 34 594 51 299 63 70 25 125 34 125 29 466 43 127 42 2,320 41
Multiple drugs 370 25 464 40 232 49 35 13 86 23 88 20 322 30 93 31 1,690 30
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond, e
Alcohol 505 34 202 18 57 14 216 79 55 15 198 44 331 29 24 17 1,588 29
Other drugs 227 15 329 29 218 52 17 6 28 8 44 10 214 18 20 14 1,097 20
Any attribution 662 45 477 42 252 60 217 79 79 22 228 50 482 42 42 29 2,439 45

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: Data are from quarter 3 2009 onwards only

e: Missing data excluded from analysis

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Juvenile detainees

Juvenile detainees (aged under 18 years) are currently interviewed only at the Bankstown, Parramatta and Kings Cross data collection sites in New South Wales. It is important to note that the juvenile data do not reflect the total number of juveniles processed by the police at each station: police are often able to attend to juveniles away from the police station; parents can refuse access to the young person; and, as with adults, young people can refuse to participate, despite their parent(s) agreeing to the interview. Due to specific police protocols, different procedures exist for accessing juveniles aged 15 years or younger at each site. For these reasons, caution should be exercised when interpreting these results.

Sample

In the two years between January 2009 and December 2010, a total of 186 juvenile detainees were interviewed at the three Sydney sites: 83 juvenile detainees were interviewed at Bankstown, 89 were interviewed at Parramatta and 14 were interviewed at Kings Cross. The majority of juvenile detainees across the three sites were male (82%) and the majority of juvenile detainees were aged either 16 years (35%) or 17 years (31%) (see Table 11).

Overall, the number of juvenile detainees surveyed in 2010 increased by 11 percent on the previous year, although this increase was not equal for male and female juveniles. In 2010, the number of female juvenile detainees surveyed remained almost identical, while there was a 15 percent increase in the number of male juvenile detainees surveyed compared with figures for 2009. This increase comes despite a decrease in the number of juvenile detainees processed during the DUMA interview hours in 2010. Overall, there were decreases in the number of juvenile detainees processed during DUMA interview hours in both 2009 and 2010 compared with recent years.

The average age of juvenile detainees remained consistent from 2009 to 2010 at 16 years of age and remains consistent when compared with previous years. The average age of both female and male juvenile detainees remained consistent at 16 years from 2009 to 2010.

Offending

Juvenile detainees recorded a total of 284 charges between January 2009 and December 2010. The average number of charges per person was two, which is consistent with previous years, and the number of charges per person ranged from a minimum of one charge to a maximum of six charges. Charges for violent offences were those most frequently recorded, comprising 24 percent of all charges for the year. This was followed by property offences (23%), breach of justice orders (15%), disorder offences (15%), drug offences (5%) and road and traffic offences (3%). No juvenile detainee was charged with drink driving in 2010 (see Table 12). In 2010, the number of breach of justice orders was twice that of the previous year (14 in 2009 cf 30 in 2010). A further 45 charges, recorded as ‘other charges’, did not otherwise fall into the categories listed above.

As with adult detainees, the most serious offence classification has been used consistently since 1999 to categorise each juvenile offender according to the most serious charge listed on their charge sheet. For 2009 and 2010, 29 percent of juvenile detainees interviewed for DUMA were classified as most serious violent offenders. Of the remaining 71 percent of juveniles, 26 percent were classified as property offenders, 17 percent were breach offenders, 11 percent were disorder offenders, five percent were drug offenders and two percent were traffic offenders (see Table 12b). In 2010, the proportion of drug offenders increased by seven percentage points over 2009 cases (8% cf 1%) and also for breach of justice orders (20% cf 13%). A further 10 percent were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above. Overall, the proportion of violent offences committed by juveniles remained consistent compared with previous years, while the proportion of property offences has declined in recent years.

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2009 and 2010, for almost three of five juvenile detainees the current episode of contact with the police was not an isolated incident: 59 percent had been charged with at least one additional offence in the previous 12 months (see Table 13). There was no notable difference in the proportion of detainees arrested in the previous 12 months compared with previous years. In 2010, the proportion of male juvenile detainees with a self-reported history of arrest increased by 12 percentage points when compared with 2009 (64% cf 52%). Across 2009 and 2010, male juvenile detainees and female juvenile detainees were almost equally likely to have a recent self-reported history of arrest (59% cf 60%). However, in 2009 female juvenile detainees were much more likely than males to have a recent arrest (75% cf 52%) and in 2010 male juvenile detainees were much more likely than females to have a recent arrest (64% cf 46%).

Drug use

Urinalysis screening was conducted for five drug classes—amphetamines, benzodiazepine, cannabis, cocaine and opiates—and secondary screening tests was conducted for the opiate pharmacotherapy substances methadone and buprenorphine. In addition, confirmatory analysis was conducted for samples 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).

Of the 131 detainees who provided a urine sample in 2009 and 2010, 45 percent tested positive to at least one drug type, consistent with previous years. However, it should be noted that in 2010 juveniles were more likely to test positive to any drug (50% cf 36%) than in 2009. The most commonly detected drug was cannabis (44%), followed by benzodiazepines (5%), opiates (2%), cocaine (1%), methadone (1%), amphetamines (1%), methylamphetamine (1%), heroin (1%) and buprenorphine (1%). No juvenile detainee tested positive to MDMA, other types of amphetamines or other types of opiates. While female juvenile detainees tested positive to the various drug types mentioned, male juvenile detainees only tested positive to cannabis, heroin, opiates and benzodiazepines (see Table 14). In 2009 and 2010, male juvenile detainees and female juvenile detainees were equally likely to test positive to any drug type (45%for both males and females). However, in 2009 female juvenile detainees were more likely than male juvenile detainees to test positive to any drug (50% cf 32%), while in 2010 males were more likely than females to test positive to any drug (51% cf 42%). In 2009 and 2010, male juvenile detainees were more likely than females to test positive to cannabis (45% cf 41%), while female juvenile detainees were more likely than males to test positive to benzodiazepines (23% cf 1%).

Table 11: Juveniles DUMA sample, by age in years and gender, 2009–10
AgeMaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
12 1 1 0 0 1 2
13 5 3 0 0 5 3
14 19 12 6 18 25 13
15 25 16 7 21 32 17
16 58 38 8 24 66 35
17 45 29 12 36 57 31
Total 153 33 186

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 12: Juveniles DUMA sample, by total charges and gender, 2009–10a
Total chargesMaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Charges recorded
Violent 65 27 2 5 67 24
Property 51 21 14 32 65 23
Drug 13 5 0 0 13 5
Drink driving 0 0 0 0 0 0
Traffic 7 3 1 2 8 3
Disorder 37 15 5 11 42 15
Breach 32 13 12 27 44 15
Other 35 15 10 23 45 16
Total 240 44 284

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 2010 [computer file]

Table 12b: Juveniles DUMA sample, by most serious offence and gender, 2009–10
Most serious offenceMaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Charges recorded
Violent 51 34 2 6 53 29
Property 36 24 13 39 49 26
Drug 9 6 0 0 9 5
Drink driving 0 0 0 0 0 0
Traffic 4 3 0 0 4 2
Disorder 18 12 3 9 21 11
Breach 20 13 11 33 31 17
Other 14 9 4 12 18 10
Total 152 33 185

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 13: Juveniles DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2009–10a
MaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Arrested in the past 12 months
Yes 78 59 15 60 93 59
No 55 41 10 40 65 41

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]

Table 14: Juveniles DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2009–10
Urinalysis resultsMaleFemaleTotal
n%n%n%
Provided urine
Yes 109 71 22 67 131 70
No 44 29 11 33 55 30
Test results
Cannabis 49 45 9 41 58 44
Cocaine 0 0 1 5 1 1
Methamphetamine 0 0 1 5 1 1
MDMA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other amphetamines 0 0 0 0 0 0
(Any amphetamines)a (0) (0) (1) (5) (1) (1)
Heroin 1 1 0 0 1 1
Methadone 0 0 1 5 1 1
Buprenorphine 0 0 1 5 1 1
Other opiates 0 0 0 0 0 0
(Any opiate)b (1) (1) (2) (9) (3) (2)
Benzodiazepines 1 1 5 23 6 5
Any drug 49 45 10 45 59 45
Any drug other than cannabis 2 2 5 23 7 5
Multiple drugs 2 2 5 23 7 5

a: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of amphetamine

b: Detainees may test positive to more than one class of opiate

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2010 [computer file]