A Rush to Judgment? The Origin of the 2001 Australian 'Heroin Drought' and its Implications for the Future of Drug Law Enforcement

Hank Prunckun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper reassesses the origins of what has been referred to as the Australian'heroin drought.' It looks at the theories that circulated in drug policy circle simmediately after the supply shortage was discovered in 2001. It concludes that there may have been a 'rush to judgment' as these inferences were based on unsatisfactory data. As such, none of the theories that were advanced at the time hold true ' the shortage was almost certain to have been the result of a Talibanen forced reduction of Afghanistan grown opium. As interdiction strategies wereone of the main theories for the shortage, this might seem disappointing,especially as supply reduction strategies struggle to maintain relevancy against a growing shift to demand reduction and harm reduction strategies. But this situation should not be the case ' drug seizures should not be hailed as law enforcement's central strength in this or any other situation. Instead, the strongpoint of policing should be seen as the broad approach it takes to reduce crime through its attack on all criminal enterprises, not just its assault on a particular criminal sector ' like the drug trade.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)247-255
    Number of pages9
    JournalGlobal Crime
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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