Drug offences down, but cops seek help from public
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.”