Briefing paper

Trends in property and illicit drug crime around the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross: An update

Crime Property Drugs and alcohol Australia New South Wales
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The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) opened in Kings Cross in May 2001. This paper examines whether there have been (a) increases in the volume of robbery, property crime and drug offences in Kings Cross Local Area Command, or (b) increases in the proportion of Kings Cross drug offences occurring in the immediate vicinity of the MSIC, which could be attributed to the MSIC.

Method: The volume of crime was indicated by the number of criminal incidents of robbery, property crime and selected drug offences recorded by NSW Police between January 1999 and March 2010. We computed the trends in these offences in Kings Cross LAC from May 2001 to March 2010 and compared the results to the equivalent trends for the rest of Sydney SD. Spatial analyses were used to determine whether drug arrests were concentrated around the MSIC site. Police recorded incidents of possession and dealing of narcotics, cocaine and amphetamines were geocoded and mapped with the results inferred by descriptive statistics and visual inspection.

Results: With a few minor exceptions the incidence of robbery and property offences have fallen in the Kings Cross Local Area Command since 2001. This pattern is consistent with the rest of Sydney. Of the six drug offences considered, five have been stable in Kings Cross since 2001. The exception was cocaine possession which increased in both Kings Cross and the rest of Sydney. The spatial analyses showed no pattern of increased drug offences around the MSIC.

Conclusion: No evidence was found that the MSIC has had a negative impact on robbery, property crime or drug offences in Kings Cross LAC.

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