Policing Australia’s ‘Heroin Drought’ Using an Agent-Based Model to Simulate Alternative Outcomes

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Our paper examines how street-level drug markets adapt to a macro-level

    disruption to the supply of heroin, under three experimental conditions of street-level

    drug law enforcement: random patrol, hot-spot policing and problem-orientated policing.

    We utilize an agent-based model to explore the relative impact of abstractions of

    these three law enforcement strategies after simulating an ‘external shock’ to the

    supply of heroin to the street-level drug market.We use 3 years of data, which include

    the period of the ‘heroin drought’ in Melbourne (Australia) that commenced in late

    2000 and early 2001, to measure changes in a selected range of crime and harm

    indicators under the three policing conditions. Our results show that macro-level

    disruptions to drug supply have a limited impact on street-level market dynamics when

    there is a ready replacement drug. By contrast, street-level police interventions are

    shown to vary in their capacity to alter drug market dynamics. Importantly, our

    laboratory abstraction of problem-orientated policing is shown to be the optimal

    strategy to disrupt street-level injecting-drug markets, reduce crimes and minimize

    harm, regardless of the type of drug being supplied to the market.

Authors


  •   Dray, Anne (external author)
  •   Mazerolle, Lorraine (external author)
  •   Perez, Pascal
  •   Ritter, Alison (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Dray, A., Mazerolle, L., Perez, P. & Ritter, A. (2008). Policing Australia’s ‘Heroin Drought’ Using an Agent-Based Model to Simulate Alternative Outcomes. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 4 (3), 267-287.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-51649091092

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 267

End Page


  • 287

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.springerlink.com/content/c0x6426387816l6r/fulltext.pdf

Abstract


  • Our paper examines how street-level drug markets adapt to a macro-level

    disruption to the supply of heroin, under three experimental conditions of street-level

    drug law enforcement: random patrol, hot-spot policing and problem-orientated policing.

    We utilize an agent-based model to explore the relative impact of abstractions of

    these three law enforcement strategies after simulating an ‘external shock’ to the

    supply of heroin to the street-level drug market.We use 3 years of data, which include

    the period of the ‘heroin drought’ in Melbourne (Australia) that commenced in late

    2000 and early 2001, to measure changes in a selected range of crime and harm

    indicators under the three policing conditions. Our results show that macro-level

    disruptions to drug supply have a limited impact on street-level market dynamics when

    there is a ready replacement drug. By contrast, street-level police interventions are

    shown to vary in their capacity to alter drug market dynamics. Importantly, our

    laboratory abstraction of problem-orientated policing is shown to be the optimal

    strategy to disrupt street-level injecting-drug markets, reduce crimes and minimize

    harm, regardless of the type of drug being supplied to the market.

Authors


  •   Dray, Anne (external author)
  •   Mazerolle, Lorraine (external author)
  •   Perez, Pascal
  •   Ritter, Alison (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Dray, A., Mazerolle, L., Perez, P. & Ritter, A. (2008). Policing Australia’s ‘Heroin Drought’ Using an Agent-Based Model to Simulate Alternative Outcomes. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 4 (3), 267-287.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-51649091092

Number Of Pages


  • 20

Start Page


  • 267

End Page


  • 287

Volume


  • 4

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.springerlink.com/content/c0x6426387816l6r/fulltext.pdf