Cocaine arrests in Sydney have skyrocketed since the city came out of lockdown
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Data obtained from the NSW’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BCSR) shows that December 2021 saw a spike with 275 arrests for cocaine usage across the state.
A third of those arrests occurred in the Sydney CBD, with many users also recorded in Waverley and Randwick.
In the past decade, only one month clipped last December's arrests for possessing the infamous white powder, as a staggering 280 arrests were made in December 2019.
BOCSAR director Jackie Fitzgerald told Sydney Morning Herald: “It’s definitely a spike. It looks like the volumes are pretty much on par with before the pandemic. We had a big increase [in arrests for the use or possession of cocaine] over quite a few years and that high level seems to be persistent.”
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission's (ACIC) National Wastewater Drug Monitoring also supported that Sydney recorded the most cocaine usage in the country.
CEO of ACIC Michael Phelan said that the increase could likely be attributed to the booming drug supply post the Covid-19 disruption, according to Daily Mail.
“Organised crime groups have redoubled their efforts to supply the major illicit drug markets as Covid restrictions eased, generating significant illicit revenue, but they continue to face challenges, not least from law enforcement agencies,” he said.
“Our report helps address harmful drug consumption through improving knowledge about these influences so that tailored supply, demand and harm reduction efforts can be developed and implemented by decision makers on a range of drug and public health issues.”
Similarly, the report indicated that Melbourne had also seen a considerable cocaine surge, as well as becoming the number one heroin capital in Australia.
The wastewater testing, which monitored 10 sewages across the state, recorded a peak in cocaine usage from late August to December 2021.
A similar spike was also seen with heroin in the city, while the report noted that the state also recorded the second-highest regional consumption.
The ACIC’s findings also showed that the state had increased alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and fentanyl consumption.
But in some good news, cannabis and oxycodone had decreased across Victoria.