Drug of­fences down, but cops seek help from pub­lic

Pilbara News - - News - Ben Leahy

Drug of­fences de­tected by po­lice in the Pil­bara were down last fi­nan­cial year, but Hed­land’s top cop has only cau­tiously wel­comed the im­proved statis­tic.

His com­ments come as po­lice re­vealed they de­tected 1033 dru­gre­lated of­fences across the Pil­bara in the 2015-16 fi­nan­cial year, down from 1139 of­fences in 2014-15.

It means peo­ple con­tinue to com­mit drug of­fences in the Pil­bara at a higher rate per head of pop­u­la­tion than the State av­er­age, but lower than the re­gional WA av­er­age and lower than dis­tricts like the Kim­ber­ley.

South Hed­land of­fi­cer-in-charge Se­nior Sergeant Dean Snashall said po­lice would like to catch more drug of­fend­ers.

“The drug de­tec­tion sta­tis­tics are one area that WA Po­lice are keen to see in­creases rather than de­creases be­cause it is one of our proac­tive arms of polic­ing,” he said.

“There was a slight de­crease in de­tec­tions in the 2015-16 year in the Pil­bara, but this could be for a num­ber of rea­sons. “Ob­vi­ously for po­lice, pri­ori­tis­ing task­ing and re­sponse can con­trib­ute to fluc­tu­a­tions in drug de­tec­tion.”

Sen. Sgt Snashall’s com­ments come as he last week ad­dressed Town of Port Hed­land coun­cil­lors and re­minded them al­co­hol and drug use con­tin­ued to have huge flow-on ef­fects for crime in the re­gion.

He said al­co­hol and drug abuse were fac­tors in most of­fences, either be­cause peo­ple were in­tox­i­cated at the time or com­mit­ting thefts to fi­nance their ad­dic­tions.

How­ever, Sen. Sgt Snashall said re­cent ini­tia­tives seek­ing help from the com­mu­nity had de­liv­ered good re­sults.

“You will note that from March-June 2016, there was an in­crease in drug de­tec­tion fol­low­ing our Dob in a Drug Dealer cam­paign,” he said.

“We re­ceived some re­ally good in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic, which led us to con­duct more search war­rants.

“Proac­tive polic­ing such as drug de­tec­tion is only as good as the in­for­ma­tion com­ing from the com­mu­nity.”

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