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CJB79

Author Marilyn Chilvers and Don Weatherburn
Published October 2003
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 79
Subject Drugs and Drug Courts; Robbery; Theft / Property crime; Weapons
Keywords heroin, robbery, crime trends

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Summary

Aim

This study reports the results of a time series analysis of the relationship between heroin use and robbery over the period 1966 to 2000 in NSW.

Abstract

This study reports the results of a time series analysis of the relationship between heroin use and robbery over the period 1966 to 2000 in NSW. A statistically significant relationship was found between these two variables, controlling for other potential causes of the increase in robbery, such as rising unemployment rates for males, a decreased likelihood of apprehension by police for robbery crimes, and a reduction in the likelihood of imprisonment for robbery. Using the time series modelling results, the elasticity between dependent heroin use and robbery was estimated; a 10 per cent decrease in the annual number of heroin dependent users resulted in a 6 per cent decrease in robbery. The paper concludes on the basis of this and other evidence that policies designed to encourage more heroin users into methadone treatment or increase the price of heroin are likely to prove helpful in reducing or limiting the growth in robbery.