Trends in property and illicit drug crime around the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross: 2012 update

Public health Property Drugs and alcohol Crime Australia New South Wales
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Aim: The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) opened in Kings Cross in May 2001. This paper examines whether there have been: (i) increases in the volume of robbery, theft and illicit drug offences in Kings Cross Local Area Command (LAC) up until December 2012 or; (ii) increases in the percentage of Kings Cross illicit drug offences occurring in the immediate vicinity of the MSIC.

Method: The volume of crime was indicated by the number of criminal incidents of robbery, theft and specific illicit drug offences recorded by NSW police between January 1999 and December 2012. We measured trends in these offences in Kings Cross LAC from May 2001 (after the MSIC was opened) to December 2012 and compared them to trends in the rest of Sydney. Spatial analyses were used to determine whether incidents of possess/deal cocaine, narcotics or amphetamines were concentrated around the MSIC.

Results: With a few minor exceptions there has been a decline in the incidence of robbery and theft incidents in Kings Cross LAC since the MSIC opened. This is consistent with what occurred in the rest of Sydney. The trend in possess/deal cocaine, narcotics or amphetamines was relatively stable from May 2001 through December 2008 but then increased from January 2009 in both Kings Cross LAC and the rest of Sydney. There has been no noticeable trend in the percentage of illicit drug offences which occurred within 50 metres of the MSIC.

Conclusion: The trends in property crime incidents and illicit drug crime incidents were the same in Kings Cross LAC and the rest of Sydney after the opening of the MSIC.

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