First established in 2006 in Alice Springs, the Substance Abuse Intelligence Desk (SAID) has expanded over the past five years to include Dog Operation Units (DOUs) and funding for additional operational capacity in Western Australia (WA) and personnel in South Australia (SA) and the Northern Territory (NT).
Core funding from FaHCSIA of just over $2.7 million in 2010-2011, supports 10 staff positions and seven dogs in the NT and one staff position in SA.
The main purpose of the SAID/DOUs is to gather intelligence on suppliers and criminal networks involved in illicit substance trafficking, coordinate policing operations related to illicit substance trafficking in the tri-border region in central Australia and in the north NT, and conduct enforcement and disruption activities.
The aim of the review was to assess the contribution the SAID/DOUs make to address and reduce the supply of illicit substances into remote Aboriginal communities.
Primarily conducted from March through to June 2011, the review included the compilation and analysis of program and output information, statistical data, and semi-structured interviews with over 35 stakeholders.