Trends and issues papers

The nature of risk during interactions between the police and intoxicated offenders
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 525

How best to respond to and manage intoxicated offenders is a concern shared by policing agencies across Australia.

Drug Use Monitoring in Australia: An expansion into the Pilbara
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 504

The link between the use of alcohol, other drugs and crime continues to be a concern in communities throughout Australia. In regional Western Australia, little is known about the patterns of substance use and crime. In an attempt to better understand a regional offending population and their alcohol and drug use, the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) project was utilised to collect such data in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

In South Hedland (regional Western Australia), 51 police detainees were interviewed and compared with a sample of 209 Perth (metropolitan Western Australia) detainees. The findings indicated 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 assertion that alcohol contributed to their current detention. These findings are important in providing a better picture of alcohol and drug use in a regional population and will assist in shaping prevention and response strategies.

The social supply of cannabis among young people in Australia
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 503

Cannabis is the most prolifically used illicit drug in Australia, however, there is a gap in our understanding concerning the

How patterns of injecting drug use evolve in a cohort of people who inject drugs
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 502

This paper investigates the frequency of intravenous drug use in a cohort of people who inject drugs, and the decline in use from 2008-2014. It provides an important indication of the effectiveness of current interventions at reducing the consumption of illicit drugs. Comparisons are made between the injection frequency of participants on or off Opioids Substitution Therapy (OST), and according to the settings in which drugs are most frequently purchased and used, such as the street or house.

Supply-side reduction policy and drug-related harm
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 486

This study examines whether seizures of heroin, cocaine or amphetamine-type substances (ATS) or supplier arrests for heroin, cocaine or ATS trafficking affect emergency department admissions related to, or arrests for, use and possession of these drugs. Two strategies were employed to answer the question. The first involved a time series analysis of the relationship between seizures, supplier arrests, emergency department admissions and use/possess arrests. The second involved an analysis of three specific operations identified by the NSW Crime Commission as having had the potential to affect the market for cocaine. The associations between supply reduction variables and use and harm measures for cocaine and ATS were all either not significant or positive. These findings suggest that increases in cocaine or ATS seizures or ATS supplier arrests are signals of increased (rather than reduced) supply. The three significant operations dealing with cocaine listed by the NSW Crime Commission did bring an end to the upward trend in the frequency of arrests for use and possession of cocaine. Thus, very large-scale supply control operations do sometimes reduce the availability of illicit drugs.

Mobile device forensics: A snapshot
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 460

In the increasingly dynamic environment of mobile forensics, this paper provides an overview of the capabilities of three popular mobile forensic tools on three mobile phones based on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and RIM’s BlackBerry operating systems. The paper identifies where each specific tool is best applied and also describes the limitations of each in accessing contacts, call history, message data (SMS, MMS and emails), media files and other data. New releases of forensic tools and mobile operating systems may change the way the data are acquired and preserved in the future. It is therefore hoped that future research will continue to provide the digital forensics community with the most up-to-date overview of mobile forensics capabilities.