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Surry Hills

Data collection commenced at the pilot site of Surry Hills in the fourth quarter of 2013 as a feasibility study for an alternative site in the inner suburbs of Sydney. Data were collected in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, with urine samples collected in both quarters. As data were only collected over two quarters, the sample size at this site is small and caution should be exercised when interpreting the findings outlined below. As data were not collected at this site prior to 2013, there are no previous findings with which comparisons can be made.

Demographic information

  • Sixty-one detainees were interviewed; 82 percent (n=50) of them were male and they were, on average, 34 years of age (see Table 47).
  • Year 10 or less was the highest education level attained for 47 percent (n=28) of detainees (see Table 48).
  • Eighty-six percent (n=52) of detainees reported residing in stable accommodation (private or social housing) in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 48).
  • Thirty-three percent (n=20) of detainees reported being in full-time employment at the time of their arrest; 30 percent (n=18) of detainees reported being unemployed and not looking for work (see Table 48).
  • Thirty-eight percent (n=23) of detainees reported having been charged on a previous occasion in the past 12 months, and 21 percent (n=6) of detainees reported being on parole (see Table 49).
  • Thirty-one percent (n=16) of detainees reported being released from prison in the past 12 months and 26 percent (n=13) of detainees reported being released from prison more than one year ago (see Table 49a).
  • Twenty-five percent (n=26) of all charges recorded against detainees were for drug 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). Twenty-nine percent (n=17) of detainees were categorised in the MSO of property (see Table 50).

Drug, alcohol and drug-crime attribution findings

  • Of the 42 detainees who provided a urine sample, 69 percent (n=29) tested positive to at least one drug type (see Table 51).
  • Test positive rates were highest for amphetamines (43%; n=18), followed by cannabis (36%; n=15), opiates (33%; n=14) and benzodiazepines (26%; n=11) (see Table 51).
  • Fifty percent (n=30) of detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 48 hours prior to their arrest and 75 percent (n=46) of detainees reported consuming alcohol in the 30 days prior to their arrest (see Table 52).
  • It was most common for detainees to report consuming beer only on the last occasion of drinking (48%; n=10), followed by two or more types of alcohol (24%; n=5), spirits only (19%; n=4) and wine only (10%; n=2) (see Table 52).
  • The average total number of standard drinks consumed on the last occasion of drinking was 11. Detainees who reported consuming two or more types of alcohol on the last occasion of drinking reported the highest level of consumption—on average, 25 standard drinks—followed by wine-only drinkers (16 standard drinks), spirit-only drinkers (14 standard drinks) and beer-only drinkers (4 standard drinks) (see Table 52).
  • The average number of drinks consumed per hour on the last occasion of drinking was highest for detainees who reported consuming spirits only (11 standard drinks), followed by detainees who reported consuming two or more types of alcohol (4 standard drinks), wine only (4 standard drinks) and beer only (3 standard drinks) (see Table 52).
  • 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 breach (100%; n=2), followed by those whose MSO was drug (86%; n=6), violent (73%; n=8), disorder (67%; n=4), property (64%; n=7) and DUI (33%; n=1) (see Table 53). As only 42 detainees provided a urine sample, caution should be exercised in interpreting these results.
  • 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 0% other drugs), as were detainees whose MSO was disorder (38% alcohol cf 25% other drugs). Detainees whose MSO was property were more likely to identify drugs other than alcohol as a contributing factor in their current detention (18% other drugs cf 12% alcohol), as were detainees whose MSO was drug (42% other drugs cf 8% alcohol) or breach (50% other drugs cf 0% alcohol). Detainees whose MSO was violent were equally likely to identify alcohol or other drugs as contributing factors in their current police detention (see Table 53).

Sample and demographics

Table 47 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by age, 2013–14
n %
Age (yrs)
18–20 5 8
21–25 10 16
26–30 6 10
31–35 10 16
36+ 30 49
Total 61
Min/max age 18/53
Mean age (median) 34 (35)

Note: Percentages may not total 100 due to rounding

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

Education, housing and employment

Table 48 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by education, housing, and employment, 2013–14a
n %
Education
Year 10 or less 28 47
Year 11 or 12 19 32
TAFE/university not completed 4 7
Completed TAFE 4 7
Completed university 5 8
Total 60
Housing
Owned or rented by self 29 48
Someone else’s place 23 38
Shelter or emergency 5 8
Incarceration facility/halfway house 0 0
Treatment facility 0 0
No fixed residence 2 3
Other 2 3
Total 61
Employment
Full-time 20 33
Part-time 2 3
Have job but not currently workingb 8 13
Looking for work 9 15
Not looking for work 18 30
Full-time homemakers 1 2
Studying 3 5
Retired 0 0
Total 61

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 49 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by criminal history, 2013–14a
n %
Prior charge history (past 12 months)
Yes 23 38
No 37 62
Prior prison history (past 12 months)b
Yes 16 31
No 35 69
Currently on parolec
Yes 6 21
No 22 79
Currently on probationc
Yes 3 11
No 25 89
Currently on community service orderc
Yes 0 0
No 28 100

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 49a Surry Hills DUMA sample, by prison history, 2013–14
Released from prison n %
Never been to prison 22 43
Up to one year ago 16 31
More than one year, up to two years ago 4 8
More than two years, up to four years ago 4 8
More than four years, up to six years ago 2 4
More than six years, up to eight years ago 1 2
More than eight years, up to ten years ago 0 0
More than ten years ago 2 4
Total 51

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

Offending

Table 50 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by offence, 2013–14a
Charges Detainees’ MSOb
Charges recorded n % n %
Violent 18 17 16 27
Property 24 23 17 29
Drug 26 25 12 20
DUIc 4 4 4 7
Traffic 2 2 0 0
Disorder 17 17 8 14
Breach 9 9 2 3
Other 3 3 0 0
Total 103 59

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 51 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results, 2013–14a
n %
Provided urineb
Yes 42 69
No 19 31
Test results
Cannabis 15 36
Cocaine 2 5
Amphetaminesc 18 43
Methamphetamine 18 43
MDMA 1 2
Other amphetamines 0 0
Opiatesd 14 33
Heroin 10 24
Methadone 9 21
Buprenorphine 3 7
Other opiates 2 5
Benzodiazepines 11 26
Any drug 29 69
Any drug other than cannabis 26 62
Multiple drugs 18 43

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 quarter 4 and in 2014 was quarter 1 (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 14 Test positive trends, adult detainees by drug type, Surry Hills, 2013–2014 (%)

Note: Data were not collected at this site during quarters 1 to 3 of 2013, or quarters 2 to 4 of 2014

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

Self-reported alcohol use

Table 52 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by self-reported alcohol use, 2013–14a
n %
Alcohol use
Past 48 hoursb 30 50
Past 30 days 46 75
Alcohol type consumed on last drinking occasion
Beer only 10 48
Wine only 2 10
Spirits only 4 19
Mixed drinksc 5 24
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (total standard drinks)
Beer only 10 4 (3)
Wine only 2 16 (16)
Spirits only 3 14 (3)
Mixed drinksc 5 25 (11)
Quantities consumed on last drinking occasion (standard drinks per hour)
Beer only 9 3 (2)
Wine only 2 4 (4)
Spirits only 3 11 (13)
Mixed drinksc 5 4 (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 53 Surry Hills DUMA sample, by urinalysis test results and drug-crime attributions by most serious offence category, 2013–14a
Violent Property Drug Opiatesd Traffic Disorder Breach Other Total
n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n % n %
Urinalysis results
Cannabis 6 55 3 27 3 43 1 33 0 0 2 33 0 0 0 0 15 38
Cocaine 1 9 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5
Amphetaminesc 3 27 5 45 5 71 1 33 0 0 3 50 1 50 0 0 18 45
Opiatesd 4 36 3 27 3 43 0 0 0 0 2 33 1 50 0 0 13 33
Benzodiazepines 3 27 3 27 2 29 0 0 0 0 1 17 1 50 0 0 10 25
(Any drug) 8 73 7 64 6 86 1 33 0 0 4 67 2 100 0 0 28 70
(Any drug other than cannabis) 6 55 7 64 6 86 1 33 0 0 3 50 2 100 0 0 25 63
(Multiple drugs) 6 55 4 36 3 43 1 33 0 0 2 33 1 50 0 0 17 43
(Total urine samples) 11 11 7 3 0 6 2 0 40
Self-reported drug-crime attribution
Alcohol 4 25 2 12 1 8 2 50 0 0 3 38 0 0 0 0 12 20
Other drugs 4 25 3 18 5 42 0 0 0 0 2 25 1 50 0 0 15 25
Any attribution 8 50 4 24 6 50 2 50 0 0 5 63 1 50 0 0 26 44
(Total detainees interviewed) 16 17 12 4 0 8 2 0 59

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]