27 November 2015
This paper examines the rise in drug use and possession incidents recorded by police across Victoria over the past ten years. By exploring two separate geographical breakdowns, it is possible to see which parts of the state are making the largest contributions to the increase. The paper finds the largest increases occurred across regional urban areas, although there were also increases in metropolitan Melbourne and rural areas over the past five years. There was also a shift in the proportion of incidents that occurred in public locations, although this trend varied across Victoria. While the majority of offenders across the state were male, in metropolitan, rural and many regional areas there has been an increasing proportion of female offenders. While there has been much attention placed on the rise in drug use and possession offending in recent years, it is important to consider the findings in this report may be as much a reflection of police activity as increased prevalence of drug offending across a growing proportion of Victoria's population.
Keywords: trends, drug use and possession, recorded crime, offender characteristics, regional breakdown, Melbourne, regional Victoria, rural Victoria.
Rate of drug use and possession incidents in metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria, 2006-2015