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The First National Drug Policing Survey

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Calling all festival and club goers. If you’re aged 18+, live in Australia and have been to at least one festival and club in the last year, join the first national drug policing survey.

The Australian government expends an estimated $1.7 billion on responding to illicit drugs every year, with policing comprising 64% of this expenditure. One core assumption underpinning this investment is that police can deter, discourage or prevent drug offending. It is argued that drug laws and enforcement of those laws will reduce involvement in drug use and trafficking but, there remains very limited research into the extent or nature of deterrent effects. One cause of this gap is methodological. The absence of attention to this issue is increasingly problematic as there is concern that some of the newer “deterrent” strategies, such as drug detection dogs, may lead to adverse impacts.

To address this gap the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales have initiated a project which seeks to provide the first comprehensive assessment of the deterrent effects of street-level Australian drug law enforcement: taking into account impacts of four different mainstream policing strategies (including drug detection dogs) and two common settings of policing. This national survey is the first component of the project, developed to look at the ways in which different Australian policing strategies may impact on drug and alcohol use and drug selling at outdoor music festivals and licensed entertainment precincts.

Click here to complete the survey.