Year: 1998 Source: Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no.94, (August 1998), p.1-6 SIEC No: 20011408

Almost half of the firearm-related deaths in police custody between 1990-1997 in Australia were suicides. In 33 cases, a person, when confronted by police, shot himself. More than two-thirds of these victims were depressed or had some form of psychiatric history. Alcohol or drugs were contributing factors in half of the cases &, in almost half, a domestic altercation had preceded police attendance & the suicide. Preliminary analysis shows firearms were readily available. In 60% of cases, the firearm was not a weapon prohibited or restricted under new firearms regulations. (16 refs.)