Sunday, 16 June 2019 Sydney
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Illicit drug offenders decrease for second year::

The number of offenders proceeded against for Illicit drug offences has decreased for the second year, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics, William Milne, said there were more than 78,000 offenders with a principal offence involving Illicit drugs proceeded against by police in 2017–18, a decrease of almost 3,000 compared to the previous year.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a decrease in the principal offence of Illicit drugs, with most offenders proceeded against for possession or use of drugs rather than the more serious offences of dealing, trafficking, or manufacturing,” Mr Milne said.

“Even with this decrease, Illicit drug offences remain one of the most common types of crimes for offenders in Australia.”

For offenders with a principal offence of Illicit drug offences in 2017–18:

  • 76 per cent were male
  • 52 per cent were under 30 years old
  • 67 per cent had a principal offence of Possess and/or use illicit drugs


This offence exceeded 83,000 offenders in 2015–16, the largest number recorded in the last decade. 

Further details can be found in Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4519.0) available as a free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.