Policing Australia's 'heroin drought': Using an agent-based model to simulate alternative outcomes

Dray, Anne, Mazerolle, Lorraine, Perez, Pascal and Ritter, Alison (2008) Policing Australia's 'heroin drought': Using an agent-based model to simulate alternative outcomes. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 4 3: 267-287. doi:10.1007/s11292-008-9057-1

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Author Dray, Anne
Mazerolle, Lorraine
Perez, Pascal
Ritter, Alison
Title Policing Australia's 'heroin drought': Using an agent-based model to simulate alternative outcomes
Journal name Journal of Experimental Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-3750
Publication date 2008-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11292-008-9057-1
Open Access Status
Volume 4
Issue 3
Start page 267
End page 287
Total pages 21
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Language eng
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.
Keyword Agent-based simulation model
Heroin drought
Illicit drug
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 22 Feb 2011, 16:25:44 EST by Anna Bartos on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research