Page 3649 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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(2) No incidents have been recorded of either Rohypnol or Progesterex being used in the ACT.

(3) No charges have been laid for drink spiking specific offences using Progesterex in the ACT.

(4) ACT Policing established Operation Skeet in 2000 as a result of intelligence analysis indicating an emerging trend in ecstasy distribution and use throughout ACT nightclubs and dance parties. Stemming from this was the identification of a growing trend within the nightclub scene of ‘drink spiking’.

The project contributes to Outcome 1 and 2 of the ACT Policing (ACTP) Purchase Agreement, with the primary objectives being: to identify the scope of ecstasy use and incidents of drink spiking in the ACT and implement harm minimisation strategies to reduce the risk to the ACT Community, identify and engage the support of the stakeholders in the interest of the project, and educate the stakeholders in concerns/issues of the use of ecstasy in the ACT.

Operation Skeet is a long-term, ongoing operation including criminal investigations and the distribution and implementation of education packages. An education program was designed to target street level users, and young adults generally associated with the dance party scene. The aim of the package is to educate target groups of associated risks involved with ecstasy use, and to educate target groups attending dance parties and nightclubs, of associated risks relating to incidents of drug facilitated sexual assault.

It consists of posters, pamphlets, cards and stickers. To date the package has been distributed throughout the ACT to schools, businesses, social and welfare groups and universities, and to all police jurisdictions within Australia. A module for the AFP drug education resource ‘Making the Difference’ has been prepared for use by Community Policing members.

Operation Skeet has been widely promoted by the AFP through the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD), National Police Drug and Alcohol Coordinators Committee (NPDACC) and other forum as an innovative drug law enforcement initiative regarding both the use of amphetamine type stimulants and drink spiking. Other police services have shown interest in the package and information has been widely disseminated amongst law enforcement and health agencies.

The Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy has also funded research under the Cost Shared Funding Model in a two stage project. The Australian Institute of Criminology completed stage one of the project which produced the research report National Project on Drink Spiking: Investigating the nature and extent of drink spiking in Australia. In response to this report, State and Territory Governments have agreed to review their criminal offences, in terms of the applicability to different forms of drink spiking and appropriate maximum penalties. The Standing Committee of Attorneys General has referred this issue to the Model Criminal Code Officers’ Committee.

An advertising company has been commissioned with stage two of the project. They are developing awareness raising packages for the police, sexual assault counsellors, hospital emergency staff and the liquor industry. The packages will consist of posters, manuals, information cards and DVDs, and distributed nationally.

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