Police burn $5.2 billion worth of drugs: Weighing almost the same as four adult male African elephants, Australian Federal Police have burnt 25.8 tonnes worth of licit drugs in 2021 found on Australian shores.
The AFP's destruction program estimate the value of methamphetamine, MDMA, amphetamines, cannabis and fast-acting stimulants found at more than $5 billion.
The eastern command in NSW dominated Australia's illegal drug trafficking market, with police burning 19.4 tonnes this year.
Within those findings it was stimulants (methamphetamine, MDMA) uncovered the most at 15.7 tonnes.
One tonne of cocaine was also destroyed while police incinerated 9.3 tonnes of gamma-butyrolcactone (GBL), a fast-acting stimulant linked to fatal overdoses in Australia.
In Western Australia, South Australia and Alice Springs districts, police destroyed almost 900 kilograms of illicit drugs, including more than 260kg of stimulants and 505 kilograms of cannabis.
Victorian and Tasmanian regions vaporised 3.7 tonnes of illicit drugs, comprising of more than two tonnes of khat, a stimulant found in the leaves of an East African shrub, 630kg of pseudoephedrine and 506kg of methamphetamine.
The haul in Queensland and parts of the Northern Territory included 680kg of methamphetamine and MDMA, 530kg of cannabis and 200kg of cocaine.
For complete article go to https://www.youngwitness.com.au/story/7547813/police-burn-52-billion-worth-of-drugs/
Reducing illicit drug use in Australia isn’t all about cutting supply
The covert nature of illegal drug supply chains and their serious and organised crime facilitators then obfuscates all but the most visible impacts. Australian law enforcement’s seizures before, at and after our borders are impressive, but the correlation between these successes and decreased drug availability and consumption has been difficult to measure. Until now.
In early 2017, many of the country’s top police predicted that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program would make surprising discoveries about the scale of our national drug problem. And they were right.
The program involves the analysis of wastewater from treatment plants across Australia. These samples are analysed to identify markers of illicit and licit drugs. With this data, the ACIC has provided an estimate of the quantities of illegal drugs consumed in Australia.
Let’s for a moment consider the use of methamphetamine or ‘ice’. For more than a decade, methamphetamine use has had a devastating health and safety impact on Australian communities from the bush to our cities. The stories from medical professionals, police and family members tell a tragic tale of violence and heartache.
In April 2015, the government established a national ice taskforce to advise on the impacts of ice in Australia and drive the development of a national ice action strategy. The taskforce delivered its final report to the prime minister in October 2015 and it was publicly released in December of that year.
The ACIC’s wastewater monitoring reports show that, despite the best efforts of health professionals and law enforcement, the amount of ice consumed in our community skyrocketed from 2018 to 2020.
This didn’t happen because law enforcement wasn’t doing its job. The ACIC’s illicit drug data report for 2019–20 reveals that law enforcement seized 9,408 kilograms of methamphetamine during that year—up a whopping 1,415% from 2010–11. They also arrested 44,847 alleged offenders, up 322% from 2010–11.
So, what’s the problem? Well, it seems from the latest ACIC report that these operational results are not actually having a marked impact on illicit drug supply or use. Law enforcement’s role in Australia isn’t to seize more drugs but to reduce criminal threats and promote safety and security in our communities.
Report 14 shows that, nationally, the average daily level of methylamphetamine use remained at approximately 40 doses per 1,000 people for December 2020 and April 2021.
As a starting point, the federal government should consider adopting total illicit drug consumption, as measured by the wastewater monitoring program, as a key performance measure for its primary law enforcement agencies: the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Border Force and the ACIC. In doing so, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement could undertake an annual inquiry into the effectiveness of law enforcement in reducing the consumption of illicit drugs.
This approach needn’t mean that law enforcement shouldn’t still focus on and measure seizures. Instead, this additional measure will afford government and law enforcement an opportunity to better quantify the effect of these seizures and arrests. Initially, doing so will likely reveal problems with some of our supply-reduction strategies. However, it will have substantial long-term benefits in making our communities safer and more resilient.
For complete article 13 Dec 2021
For further Research
Dalgarno Institute 2021