Australian Institute of Criminology

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Bankstown

Sample

In 2011–12, 598 detainees were interviewed at the Bankstown police watchhouse. The average age of detainees was 32 years and 87 percent of detainees were male. On average, male detainees were one year older than female detainees (32 cf 31 years; see Table 24).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a 20 percent decrease in the number of detainees interviewed (n=333 cf n=265). In 2011–12, the number of detainees interviewed was only two percent less than the number of detainees interviewed in 2009–10 (n=608), but it was notably lower when compared with earlier collection periods.

From 2011 to 2012, the average age of Bankstown detainees increased modestly from 31 years to 32 years. In both 2011 and 2012, the average age of female detainees was 31 years and the average age of male detainees was 32 years. This was only slightly different to the average age of detainees recorded in the 2009–10 period, which for female detainees was 31 years and for male detainees was 33 years.

Offending

In 2011–12, Bankstown detainees were arrested and detained for a total of 1,125 charges. Consistent with previous years, the average number of charges per detainee was two. In 2011–12, charges for violent offences were the most commonly recorded among the Bankstown sample, comprising 28 percent of total charges. This was followed by charges for property offences (16%), breach offences (11%), drug offences (10%), traffic offences (10%), disorder offences (8%) and drink driving offences (3%). A further 15 percent of charges were recorded as ‘other offences’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 25). Since the 2009–10 collection, the percentage of violent charges increased by three percentage points (from 25%) and property charges decreased by five percentage points (from 21%).

To facilitate comparison between detainees, each detainee is categorised by the most serious offence for which they were being held under charge at the time of interview. In 2011–12, 36 percent of Bankstown detainees were classified as violent offenders (an increase of 2 percentage points from 2009–10), 17 percent as property offenders, 14 percent as breach offenders, nine percent as traffic offenders, seven percent as drug offenders, five percent as disorder offenders and five percent as drink driving offenders. A further seven percent were recorded as ‘other offenders’ not otherwise falling into the categories listed above (see Table 25). There were no notable differences in the percentage of each offence type in Bankstown compared with 2009–10.

From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of charged detainees classified as violent offenders increased marginally, by two percentage points (35% cf 37%), continuing the gradual increase observed since data were first collected at Bankstown in 1999. In both 2011 and 2012, property offences were stable at 17 percent.

In 2011–12, different patterns of offending were observed between males and females. Based on most serious offence categories, violent offences were the single most frequently recorded offence for male detainees (38%), followed by property (15%), breach (15%) and traffic offences (9%). Female detainees were most likely to be categorised as property offenders (29%), followed by violent offenders (26%), traffic offenders (11%) and drug offenders (11%). There was an eight percentage point decrease in the percentage of females in custody for a violent offence in the 2011–12 period (26%) compared with the 2009–10 period (34%).

Prior criminal justice contact

In 2011–12, for approximately one in three Bankstown detainees, the current episode of contact with the police was not an isolated incident—34 percent had been charged on at least one separate occasion in the previous 12 months (see Table 26). This represents a six percentage point decline from the 2009–10 recidivism rate (40%). From 2011 to 2012, there was a seven percentage point increase in recidivism among Bankstown detainees (31% cf 38%). In 2011–12, male detainees and female detainees were almost equally likely to have been charged on a separate occasion in the previous 12 months (34% cf 33%).

In 2011–12, 13 percent of Bankstown detainees reported having spent time in prison in the previous 12 months. This figure was three percentage points higher than in 2009–10 (10%). In 2012, the percentage of detainees with a recent prison history increased by two percentage points compared with 2011. In 2011–12, male detainees were more likely than female detainees to report a recent prison history (13% cf 9%; see Table 26).

Education, housing and employment

In 2011–12, Year 10 was the highest level of education attained for 39 percent of Bankstown detainees (see Table 27), an eight percentage point decrease since 2009–10 (47%). Forty-six percent of detainees reported attempting or completing a post-secondary TAFE or university qualification—results that indicate an increase in overall scholastic achievement when compared with education levels in 2009–10, when 36 percent of detainees fell into this category. The levels of education of male detainees and female detainees were generally consistent. From 2011 to 2012, for female detainees, the most substantial change was a 15 percentage point increase in the percentage having completed Year 12 or less (43% cf 58%). From 2011 to 2012, for male detainees, the self-reported level of education remained relatively stable.

Nearly all detainees (95%) reported residing in stable accommodation, which was owned or rented, either from a private owner or social housing, by them (44%) or someone else (51%). A small percentage of detainees (2%) reported having no fixed address or living in emergency accommodation (see Table 27). The housing situation in 2011–12 was consistent with that reported in previous collection periods.

Over one-quarter of detainees (29%) reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest, while 14 percent of detainees reported being in part-time employment (see Table 27). The remaining 339 detainees (56%) were not working at the time of their arrest and of these:

  • 23 percent were looking for work (n=140);
  • 16 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=97);
  • nine percent were not looking for work (n=54);
  • four percent were full-time homemakers (n=22); and
  • four percent were retired or studying (n=26).

From 2011 to 2012, the most notable change was a six percentage point increase in detainees employed and not looking for work (6% cf 12%). Between 2009–10 (39%) and 2011–12 (29%), there was a 10 percentage point decrease in the number of detainees working full-time.

Examining employment by gender, there were a number of differences. Males were more likely to be employed full-time or part-time (46%) when compared with female detainees (24%). Females were more likely to be unemployed and not looking for work than males (18% cf 8%) or not working because of their role as a full-time homemaker (13% cf 2%; see Table 27). Caution should be taken when interpreting gender comparisons due to the overrepresentation of males in the sample.

From 2011 to 2012, there were some noticeable changes in the employment status of female detainees. From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of female detainees who reported being full-time homemakers or working full-time decreased by 18 percentage points (31% cf 13%), while the percentage of female detainees who reported being unemployed and not looking for work increased by 22 percentage points (7% cf 29%). There were no notable changes in the employment status of male detainees.

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 346 detainees who provided a urine sample, 56 percent tested positive to at least one drug type. The percentage of urine samples testing positive for any drug was not notably different when compared with previous years. In 2011–12, the drug most commonly detected was cannabis (37%), followed by opiates (23%; including 14% heroin, 11% methadone and 6% buprenorphine—detainees can test positive to more than one substance), benzodiazepines (17%) and methamphetamine (16%). In 2011–12, there was a seven percentage point increase in methamphetamine use compared with 2009–10 (16% cf 9%). Only 10 detainees tested positive to cocaine in 2011–12 (3%; see Table 28). From 2009–10 to 2011–12, there was a two percentage point increase in heroin use (12% cf 14%).

In 2011–12, female detainees were more likely than males to test positive to opiates (28% cf 22%), whereas male detainees were more likely than female detainees to test positive to amphetamines (16% cf 14%), benzodiazepines (17% cf 14%) and cannabis (38% cf 35%).

From 2011 to 2012, there was a six percentage point increase in positive tests for any drug (55% cf 61%). This increase was predominately driven by an increase in the detection of amphetamines (13% cf 23%), benzodiazepines (16% cf 21%) and buprenorphine (5% cf 10%). From 2011 to 2012, test positive results for other categories of drug were generally consistent.

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 their arrest. In 2011–12, over a quarter (27%) of Bankstown detainees reported drinking in the previous 48 hours (see Table 29). Rates of recent alcohol consumption were consistent when compared with previous years. Male detainees were more likely than females to have been drinking in the previous 48 hours (28% cf 24%; see Table 29). Rates of recent alcohol consumption were relatively stable for male and female detainees when compared with 2009–10.

Alcohol consumption patterns

In 2011–12, 52 percent of detainees reported consuming at least one alcoholic drink in the 30 days before their arrest (see Table 29). On the last occasion of drinking, 34 percent of these detainees had consumed beer only, eight percent had consumed wine only and 37 percent had consumed spirits only, with the remaining 21 percent 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 18, an increase in the average number of drinks reported in 2009–10 (11 standard drinks). Beer-only drinkers consumed on average eight standard drinks, while wine-only drinkers consumed on average 17 standard drinks and spirit-only drinkers consumed on average 11 standard drinks on the last occasion of drinking. Those who mixed drinks tended to report the highest consumption rate at, on average, 28 standard drinks (up from an average of 19 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.

In 2011–12, males were more likely than females to have most recently consumed beer only (36% cf 16%), while females were more likely than males to have most recently consumed wine only (18% cf 6%) or spirits only (50% cf 36%). The quantity of alcohol consumed on the last occasion was, on average, higher among males than females across all alcohol types except spirits (9 standard drinks for males cf 20 standard drinks for females; see Table 29).

Drug and alcohol treatment and mental health

In 2011–12, 55 Bankstown detainees reported that they were in drug or alcohol treatment at the time of their arrest. This figure represents approximately 17 percent of those who had used at least one illicit drug in the previous 12 months and is three percentage points higher than that reported in 2009–10 (14%). Treatment options included support groups, counselling and pharmacotherapy. A further 85 detainees (26%) had previously been in a treatment program but were no longer in treatment at the time of their arrest. Of detainees currently in treatment, 31 percent (n=17) had been referred by the courts or police or as a result of a legal order (up from 11% in 2009–10). The remaining 69 percent (n=38) were either self-referred or referred by a health practitioner (see Table 30). From 2011 to 2012, treatment access was consistent and it was not notably different when compared with previous years.

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, 175 Bankstown detainees (33%) reported having been diagnosed with a mental health-related issue (see Table 31), which was consistent with 2009–10. Nearly half of female detainees (47%) reported having been diagnosed with a mental health-related issue, which was notably higher than the percentage of male detainees (31%).

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 contributing factor in their most recent offending.

Of the 316 detainees who provided a urine sample, 57 percent tested positive to at least one drug type (see Table 32). However, by most serious offence type, the percentage of detainees testing positive to at least one drug type varied. Test positive rates by most serious offence classification are:

  • 89 percent of drug offenders (n=16)
  • 67 percent of property offenders (n=38);
  • 61 percent of breach offenders (n=22);
  • 58 percent of disorder offenders (n=11); and
  • 53 percent of violent offenders (n=62).

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. In 2011–12, approximately one-third of all detainees (34%) 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 (89%; n=24). Proportionally, this was followed by:

  • 70 percent for drug offenders (n=26);
  • 37 percent for property offenders (n=35);
  • 32 percent for breach offenders (n=24); and
  • 26 percent for violent offenders (n=52).

Alcohol was more likely than drug use to be identified as a contributing factor by drink driving, violent and disorder offenders, whereas drug use were more likely than alcohol to be identified by property, drug and traffic offenders (see Table 32).

Table 24 Bankstown DUMA sample, by age and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 82 16 12 15 94 16
21–25 97 19 13 16 110 18
26–30 91 18 18 23 109 18
31–35 76 15 15 19 91 15
36+ 172 33 22 28 194 32
Total 518 80 598
Min/max age 18/73 18/61 18/73
Mean age (median) 32(30) 31(30) 32 (30)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 25 Bankstown 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 282 29 180 38 30 19 19 26 312 28 199 36
Property 139 14 73 15 42 26 21 29 181 16 94 17
Drug 96 10 29 6 14 9 8 11 110 10 37 7
Drink driving 28 3 26 5 1 1 1 1 29 3 27 5
Traffic 91 9 42 9 19 12 8 11 110 10 50 9
Disorder 82 8 25 5 6 4 2 3 88 8 27 5
Breach 119 12 70 15 9 6 5 7 128 11 75 14
Other 128 13 32 7 39 24 9 12 167 15 41 7
Total 965 477 160 73 1,125 550

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 26 Bankstown DUMA sample, by criminal history and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 154 34 23 33 177 34
No 297 66 47 67 344 66
Prior prison history (past 12 months)
Yes 59 13 7 9 66 13
No 392 87 67 91 459 87

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

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Table 27 Bankstown DUMA sample, by education, housing, employment and gender, 2011–12a
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Education
Year 10 or less 203 39 27 34 230 39
Year 11 or 12 77 15 13 16 90 15
TAFE/university not completed 101 20 14 18 115 19
Completed TAFE 111 21 22 28 133 22
Completed university 25 5 4 5 29 5
Total 517 80 597
Housing
Owned or rented by self 226 44 40 50 266 44
Someone else’s place 267 52 38 48 305 51
Shelter or emergency 3 1 0 0 3 1
Incarceration facility/halfway house 5 1 1 1 6 1
Treatment facility 2 0 0 0 2 0
No fixed residence 7 1 1 1 8 1
Other 8 2 0 0 8 1
Total 518 80 598
Employment
Full-time 165 32 8 10 173 29
Part-time 74 14 11 14 85 14
Have job but out due to illness/leave/strike/disability/seasonal work 83 16 14 18 97 16
Looking for work 121 23 19 24 140 23
Not looking for work 40 8 14 18 54 9
Full-time homemakers 12 2 10 13 22 4
Retired or studying 22 4 4 5 26 4
Total 517 80 597

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 28 Bankstown DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Provided urinea
Yes 302 75 43 70 345 75
No 100 25 18 30 118 25
Test results
Cannabis 114 38 15 35 129 37
Cocaine 10 3 0 0 10 3
Amphetaminesb 48 16 6 14 54 16
Methamphetamine 48 16 6 14 54 16
MDMA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other amphetamines 0 0 0 0 0 0
Opiatesc 68 23 12 28 80 23
Heroin 40 13 7 16 47 14
Methadone 31 10 6 14 37 11
Buprenorphine 18 6 4 9 22 6
Other opiates 10 3 1 2 11 3
Benzodiazepines 53 18 6 14 59 17
Any drug 172 57 23 53 195 57
Any drug other than cannabis 114 38 18 42 132 38
Multiple drugs 83 27 12 28 95 28

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 29 Bankstown DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use and gender, 2011–12
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursa 143 28 19 24 162 27
Past 30 days 269 53 36 46 305 52
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 98 36 6 16 104 34
Wine only 17 6 7 18 24 8
Spirits only 96 36 19 50 115 37
Mixed drinksb 58 22 6 16 64 21
Male Female Total
n mean (median) n mean (median) n mean (median)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks)
Beer only 97 8(5) 6 7(4) 103 8(5)
Wine only 17 18(17) 7 15(15) 24 17(16)
Spirits only 95 9(6) 18 20(4) 113 11(6)
Mixed drinksb 58 29(25) 6 22(23) 64 28(24)

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 30 Bankstown DUMA sample, by drug and alcohol treatment and gender, 2011–12a,b
Male Female Total
n % n % n %
Treatment
Never been in treatment 169 59 20 45 189 57
Been in, but not currently in treatment 71 25 14 32 85 26
Currently in treatment 45 16 10 23 55 17
Treatment referral of those currently in treatment
Drug court requirement 7 15 0 0 7 13
Court diversion scheme 3 7 0 0 3 5
Police diversion scheme 2 4 0 0 2 4
Other legal order 4 9 1 11 5 9
Otherc 30 65 8 89 38 69

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 31 Bankstown 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 140 31 35 47 175 33
No 309 69 39 53 348 67

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 32 Bankstown 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 41 35 16 28 12 67 2 14 13 39 8 42 16 44 10 45 118 37
Cocaine 5 4 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 8 3
Amphetaminesb 16 14 14 25 6 33 0 0 5 15 2 11 6 17 2 9 51 16
Opiatesc 22 19 24 42 6 33 1 7 6 18 4 21 11 31 3 14 77 24
Benzodiazepines 23 20 14 25 2 11 0 0 4 12 1 5 8 22 4 18 56 18
(Any drug) 62 53 38 67 16 89 3 21 16 48 11 58 22 61 12 55 180 57
(Any drug other than cannabis) 43 37 31 54 10 56 1 7 11 33 6 32 13 36 8 36 123 39
(Multiple drugs) 31 26 22 39 6 33 0 0 9 27 4 21 10 28 7 32 89 28
(Total urine samples) 117 57 18 14 33 19 36 22 316
Self-reported drug–crime attributiond
Alcohol 35 18 11 12 2 5 24 89 4 8 4 15 13 17 4 10 97 18
Other drugs 23 12 25 27 24 65 0 0 5 10 2 7 12 16 6 15 97 18
Any attribution 52 26 35 37 26 70 24 89 9 18 6 22 24 32 10 24 186 34
(Total detainees interviewed) 199 94 37 27 50 27 75 41 550

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 8 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Bankstown, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 8 Test positive trends, males by drug type, Bankstown, 1999–2012 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 3, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]

Figure 9 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Bankstown, 1999–2012 (%)

Figure 9 Test positive trends, females by drug type, Bankstown, 1999–2012 (%)

Note: Data was not collected at this site during quarters 2 and 3, 2012

Source: AIC DUMA collection 2012 [computer file]