An integral part of any community response to volatile substance use (VSU) is a range of measures aimed at limiting access to volatile substances, particularly to young people. Police have a key role in supply reduction through the policing of illegal supplies but can also play a vital role in the restriction of availability from sources such as retail, industry and tourists.
In Western Australia, it is against the law to ‘supply intoxicants to people likely to abuse them’ under Section 206 of the Western Australian Criminal Code 1913. For more information about Section 206 of the WA Criminal Code, see the Western Australian law page of this website.
This may include the policing of illegal supplies of unleaded petrol to remote communities and towns in WA where unleaded petrol has been replaced with low aromatic fuel as a supply reduction strategy. For more information about low aromatic fuel, see the Commonwealth Government's Low Aromatic Fuel website.
Some Aboriginal communities in WA also have by-laws prohibiting the possession, use and supply of volatile substances under the Aboriginal Community Act 1979. Therefore, the enforcement of by-laws is a further requirement of police, where applicable. For more information about the Aboriginal Community Act, see the Western Australian law page of this website.
There are coordinated, multi-agency VSU strategies in place to address VSU in some regions and towns in WA. These include a range of supply reduction strategies to raise the awareness of sources of supply of volatile substances. For more information on what is happening in your region or town, or in other regions of WA, see the Working Groups in WA page of this website.
Such strategies include those aimed at retailers; industry and contractors; and (where relevant) tourists. They involve the distribution of information resources (Retailer's Kit, Industry Kit, Contractor's brochure and the Tourist brochure), which contain ideas to assist them with their role in reducing access to volatile substances in the community.
Police often liaise locally with retailers and industry, contractors and tourists, advising on theft reduction, safe storage and transportation and providing timely responses to in-store incidents of aggressive behaviour in response to sale refusal. This liaison is a valuable support to the retailer, industry and tourist strategies.
For more information about these strategies, see the following pages:
See also Coordination and engagement page of this website for more information.