Research and analysis

The heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends - then and now

A historical account of the heroin epidemic in England and Wales, assessing its impact on crime.

Documents

The heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends - then and now

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The heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends - then and now: Technical Report

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Tables for the heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends - then and now, addicts index data

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Tables for the heroin epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and its effect on crime trends - then and now, police recorded crime data

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Details

The report provides a historical account of the heroin epidemic in England and Wales and assesses its impact on crime. The analysis shows that although some heroin users commit little or no crime, a small minority commit a large enough volume of offences to affect overall crime trends.

The report analyses the spread of the epidemic and shows that local and international variations in the rise and fall in crime tended to follow the spread of heroin use.

The report concludes with quantitative analysis showing that heroin use may have been responsible for around half the rise in acquisitive crime to 1995 and between a third and a quarter of the fall since, as the cohort of users from the epidemic gradually aged, attended treatment or died.

Published 22 July 2014