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Amphetamine Users and Crime in Western Australia, 1999-2009

NCJ Number
Natalie Gately; Jennifer Fleming; Robyn Morris; Catherine McGregor
Date Published
June 2012
6 pages
Using data collected by Australia's Drugs Use Monitoring Australia (DUMA) program at the East Perth watch-house for 1999-2009, this study examined the relationship between amphetamine use and the crimes committed by detainees who have used this drug.
Statistics have consistently found a higher prevalence of amphetamine use in Western Australia compared with other Australian drug markets. It is the third most commonly used drug in Western Australia, after cannabis and ecstasy. Data show that amphetamine users are more likely to commit property, robbery, and weapons offenses than users of other drugs; however, amphetamine users are not more likely to commit violent offenses than other drug users. This finding supports other studies of amphetamine users and their criminal behaviors. Of the 2,997 detainees who had used amphetamines in the preceding 30 days, 79.4 percent were men, and 20.6 percent were women. The majority of amphetamine users were 25-34 years old, and most were identified as non-Indigenous. The majority had completed 10 years of schooling or less. Most reported their marital status as "single and never married." The majority were unemployed, and most were living in private accommodation, either at the home of another person or renting/owning their own home. The study concludes that the failure to reduce the use of amphetamines in Western Australia has a cumulative social and health cost to the community. 1 figure, 2 tables, and 22 references