Thursday, December 11, 2003

Heroin linked to rise in robberies: "NSW has the highest robbery rate in Australia - a crime problem linked to the state's serious problem with heroin abuse, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. The bureau has analysed long-term robbery rates across the country, finding robberies in NSW more than doubled between 1974 and 1989, and doubled again between 1993 and 2001.

"The bureau's director, Don Weatherburn, said the research reinforced the link between robbery and heroin use. 'Just as NSW accounts for about half of Australia's heroin users, so it accounts for just over half of all Australian's recorded robberies,' the bureau's research report said. Statistics show the state's number of heroin users rose from around 670 people in 1967 to roughly 67,000 in 1997."

"The report found that since 1966, each 10 per cent increase in the number of dependent heroin users caused a 6 per cent jump in the NSW robbery rate."

We need to terminate this mendacious war on drugs and institute policies of harm minimisation, taxation and regulation in order to deal with the linked problems of substance abuse, crime, imprisonment rates, health problems and police and political corruption.

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