Policing volatile substance use (VSU) can be challenging due to the legality of volatile substance possession and use, the resultant lack of legislative options available and the wide availability of volatile substance products.
There are a range of VSU strategies and activities aimed at reducing the harm associated with VSU. Some of these are considered primarily police responsibility, while others are considered to be the shared responsibility of a range of health and welfare agencies.
Police play a vital role in any VSU response through dealing with intoxication, supply reduction, protecting community safety, crime prevention and proactive policing via community engagement.
For more information about policing VSU, see the following pages of this website:
- Intoxication management
- Supply reduction
- Community safety and crime prevention
- Coordination and engagement
- Policing and the media
For more detailed information about issues and strategies for policing VSU, see Policing-related resources in the Resource Library of this website.
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Alcohol and other drug problems among Indigenous Australians from rural and remote regions - A policing perspective
Nicholas, R. Australasian Centre for Policing Research. A discussion paper that provides an overview of alcohol and other drug issues impacting indigenous Australians. Provides examples of effective policing responses to reduce the harms associated with VSU.
Nicholas, R. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund. Report outlining the complexities of substance misuse in rural and remote communities. Provides argument and case studies supporting the efficacy of policing measures in conjunction with a whole of community approach to drive positive change.
Gray, D., Shaw, G., d'Abbs, P., Brooks, D., Stearne, A., Mosey, A. & Spooner, C. National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund – Monograph Series #16. Qualitative case study to enhance the understanding of the law enforcement sector about the extent and nature of petrol sniffing and other inhalant misuse by Aboriginal communities.
Australasian Centre for Policing Research. Report discussing policing issues and volatile substance use.
Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee - Inquiry into the inhalation of volatile substances: Final report
Parliament of Victoria, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee. See Chapter 13 - Policing volatile substance abuse (pp. 195–209).