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A supply-based response to a demand-driven problem: a fifteen-year analysis of drug interdiction in Poland

Abstract

This study examined one key element of drug supply-reduction policies – drug interdiction – in the Central and Eastern European country of Poland. Poland is a nation that has experienced significant social, political, and cultural changes since the fall of communism, resulting in multiple reforms to their national policing model and drug laws. Poland is also uniquely situated in Europe as a consumer nation, a transit country for drugs, and a significant source of amphetamines. These factors place additional strain on agencies responsible for drug interdiction. To-date, however, the efficacy of police-driven interdiction efforts or factors that might impact the success of such policies (e.g., funding, strength of the police force, the number of drug-related crimes detected) have not been empirically examined in this setting. Thus, this study examined officially reported data in Poland over a 15-year time period (2001 to 2015) to determine how these factors were related to the seized amounts of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, and herbal cannabis, given the historic national context. The main findings indicated that the cannabis and amphetamine markets were strongly linked, while user-based arrests related to particular drug-types (e.g., amphetamines) were found to be significantly related to seizures of different drug-types (e.g., heroin), suggesting possible market integration. Further, government expenditures for public safety were not found to be significantly associated with interdiction efforts.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    All data in this study are publicly available from the sources provided above. Please email the author for all data-related inquiries.

  2. 2.

    The Shapiro-Wilk W tests for normality within continuous variables with an n size of between 4 and 2000; the null hypothesis of the Shapiro-Wilk test is that the data are normally distributed.

  3. 3.

    It should be noted that the complete dataset for drug law offenses indicated a non-normal distribution. However, upon further investigation, the two data points at the beginning of the time series (2001 and 2002) were problematic outliers and were thus removed from the dataset. The variable was tested again and the Shapiro-Wilk test failed to reject the null hypothesis, indicating the data were normally distributed.

  4. 4.

    Where −1 < = r < = 1; correlations of positive or negative values ranging from .00–.19 are considered “very weak,” r values from .20–.39 are “weak,” r values from .40–.59 are “moderate,” r values .60–.79 are “strong,” and r values .80–1.0 are “very strong” [43]. Pairwise correlations were calculated; this ensures that listwise deletion is not used to handle missing data, and instead, missing data are pairwise deleted.

  5. 5.

    It should be noted that data from the Polish police reflected different offense figures for 2014 and 2015 from the EMCDDA data, though these numbers were similarly identified as outliers.

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Correspondence to Diana S. Dolliver.

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 6 Shapiro-Wilks test for normality

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Dolliver, D.S. A supply-based response to a demand-driven problem: a fifteen-year analysis of drug interdiction in Poland. Crime Law Soc Change 73, 1–23 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10611-019-09839-4

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