Ice crackdown


Ice crackdown


ICE and other harmful drugs are a major problem for emergency services in South Gippsland.

A Proactive Investigation Team (PIT) was established at the Wonthaggi Police Station three weeks ago to target drug trafficking in the Bass Coast Police Service Area (PSA), which covers from Phillip Island to Foster.

“We have executed seven drug warrants and charged eight offenders with a total of 24 offences for cultivating, trafficking and possessing drugs since the unit formed,” Wonthaggi’s Sergeant Glenn Birt said.

“We are specifically targeting ice but will carry out warrants for a range of other drugs as well.”

Over the past three weeks, a quantity of ice and cannabis has been seized by PIT members.

According to recent Victoria Police statistics, South Gippsland experienced 219 drug offences last year.

The number of offences was down by 3.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.However, police are expecting to see a rise in 2015 due to more enforcement.

“We know there’s an issue with ice and other drugs in Leongatha,” Leongatha’s Sergeant Dale McCahon said.

“Only through education will we be able to defeat it. We have to stop the demand by convincing people not to use drugs to start with.”

South Gippsland Shire Council will hold an ice information forum next week in response to increased concern about the drug in the community.

Council’s manager of community strengthening Ned Dennis said, “The impacts of ice affect the whole community.

“Quite a few people have spoken to council about the effects on a local level so we thought it would be worthwhile to have a briefing.”

The forum will be held on Wednesday, March 4, at Leongatha’s Memorial Hall.

Wonthaggi’s Inspector Graeme Sprague will be one of the guest speakers at the forum.

“Ice is not an epidemic in our area but it is there,” Inspector Sprague said.

“We want to give an understanding about the violence related to the drug as well.”

Wonthaggi Police have been dealing with more public assaults recently. Inspector Sprague said it was hard to determine whether ice was involved in the incidents but said the drug can result in users being violent.

Sergeant McCahon said police rely on local knowledge to uncover drug offences.

“I’m proud of the fact the local community and Leongatha police officers are working to combat the issue,” he said.

“We do need more education to stop the drug demand in the area though.”

The public can help by reporting suspicious behaviour anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

Others speakers at the forum include Magistrate Clive Alsop and a representative from Ambulance Victoria. The presentations will begin at 7.15pm.

“There is concern about drugs in the area. If there weren’t, these representatives wouldn’t agree to speak,” Mr Dennis said.

“I’m pleased people are going to take up the opportunity to find out firsthand what’s going on and how to deal with it appropriately.

To RSVP for the forum, contact Sophie Dixon at council on 5662 9202 or [email protected].

On watch: Leongatha’s Senior Constable Kiara Roffey and Senior Constable Michael Thomas help target ice and other harmful drugs in the area.

On watch: Leongatha’s Senior Constable Kiara Roffey and Senior Constable Michael Thomas help target ice and other harmful drugs in the area.

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Posted by on Feb 24 2015. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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