Drug seizures highest in a decade

A COCAINE bust in Redcliffe - the third biggest in Australia's history - accounted for 60% of national cocaine seizures in 2010-11, the Australian Crime Commission has revealed.

The ACC's Illicit Drug Data Report 2010-11, released on Thursday by Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, showed there were 69,595 illicit drug seizures across Australia, the highest number in a decade and up from 63,670 in 2009-10.

Queensland boasted a relatively good record in terms of cocaine seizures prior to the Redcliffe haul.

That changed in October 2010 when police seized more than 400kg from a yacht moored in the Moreton Bay suburb.

To put that in perspective, 662kg of cocaine was seized across Australian in total during the reporting period.

Not surprisingly, the total weight of cocaine seized in Queensland jumped a staggering 6151%, from 6.43kg in 2009-10 to 401.985kg in 2010-11.

Queensland was the only state to experience an increase in cocaine seizures and arrests, up from 167 to 194 (16.2%).

Despite the sunshine's state record bust, New South Wales remained the cocaine capital of Australia.

The report showed NSW recorded the highest number of cocaine seizures and arrests during the reporting period.

There were 806 seizures and 479 cocaine-related arrests in NSW, a decrease of 24.6% on the 2009-10 period.

But the total weight of cocaine seized in NSW increased by 60.1% (from 149.39kg to 239.13kg).

ACC chief executive officer John Lawler said NSW's size and population meant it "frequently records high proportions of illicit drug seizures".

The illicit drug report was compiled using data from federal, state and territory agencies as well as information from the health system and universities and details arrests, seizures, purity, profiling and prices.

There were 84,738 illicit drug-related arrests there were 84,738 in 2010-11, the second highest reported in the last decade.

Cannabis remained the most dominant illicit drug in Australia in terms of arrests and seizures, accounting for 70% of all drug-related arrests.

KEY FINDINGS

  • There was a record number of illicit drug seizures in Australia in 2010-11- 69,595 the highest in a decade;
  • More than 9.3 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized nationally - a 19 per cent increase on seizures in 2009-10; and
  • More than 84,700 illicit drug arrests - the second highest in the past decade.
  • National steroid seizures and arrests are the highest in the past decade;
  • Use of ecstasy has decreased for the first time since 1995 but remains the second most used illicit drug in Australia.
  • The upward trend in domestic production of illicit substances has continued with 703 clandestine laboratories detected with the majority again in residential areas.
  • Heroin use and arrests have remained stable.

Topics:  australian crime commission, illicit drugs



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