The link between crime data and workplace drug testing in Victoria

Crime data on drug trafficking offences for 2023 has been published, but what’s this got to do with workplaces and drug testing?

The latest release of crime data has revealed the places in Victoria where illicit drugs are trafficked, but what’s this got to do with workplaces and drug testing?

According to an article in the Herald Sun, which used data published by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency, every local government area in Victoria contributed to the figures, which saw nearly 30,000 drug offences recorded in 2023.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Melbourne CBD was the place where most drug trafficking offences took place, but it’s not just metropolitan areas that made the list. In fact, Buloke, in Victoria’s northwest, topped the list for drug trafficking offences per capita. Their rate of 328.3 offences per 100,000 population easily surpassed the Melbourne CBD rate of 188.2. Greater Shepparton (155.2) and Greater Bendigo (149.6) also had high rates.

Here are some other highlights – or should that be lowlights – from the data:

  • While there were more offences for cannabis than any other drug, when it came to drug charges, methamphetamines topped the list with 1234 charges laid across Victoria in 2023. Greater Bendigo was where the most dealers were charged, followed by the City of Melbourne, Greater Shepparton and then Casey.
  • Cocaine is the most expensive consumer drug in Australia and therefore, perhaps not surprisingly, trafficking charges for the drug were higher in the Melbourne CBD than anywhere else. In fact, Melbourne local government areas made up the entire top 10.
  • Casey is the local government area where most cannabis trafficking offences took place. It had nearly double the offences of the second-placed Brimbank.
  • Of course, it’s not just illegal drugs that cause issues and trafficking of prescription drugs is a significant issue. The Herald Sun reports that trafficking offences occurred mostly in wealthier suburbs of Victoria and Melbourne, with Port Phillip, Stonnington, Darebin, Mooney Valley and Boroondara topping the list.

The key message for workplaces and drug testing in Victoria

What’s the connection between drug trafficking charges, workplace safety and drug testing? What’s the crucial message for HR managers, safety officers and business owners in Victoria?

As the article in the Herald Sun and other statistics show, drug consumption is prevalent in Victoria, leading some individuals to engage in illicit activities to fuel their habits. Unfortunately, the issues of drugs can and often does extend to the workplace, even in safety-sensitive environments.

For employers, the takeaway is clear: in safety-critical workplaces across Victoria, implementing a robust drug and alcohol policy, including regular drug testing, is essential.

Employees in safety-sensitive roles should also heed this message. Endorsing workplace drug and alcohol programs benefits everyone, as impaired individuals jeopardise not only their own safety but also that of their colleagues.

Integrity Sampling has branches right across Victoria that can assist you with developing workplace policies, conducting drug testing and providing education. To find out more, phone us on 1300 725 482.


Crime data on drug trafficking offences for 2023 has been published, but what’s this got to do with workplaces and drug testing?

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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