No meth ac­tion team for Pil­bara

Pilbara News - - News - Sophia Con­stan­tine and Tim Clarke

Drug ac­tion teams will be rolled out as part of a na­tional drive to rid the coun­try of the scourge of metham­petamine — but none will be based in the Pil­bara.

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment last week an­nounced 40 teams would be de­ployed across Aus­tralia.

Just three will be funded in WA — Kal­go­or­lie, Nan­nup and Bun­bury — de­spite re­cent fig­ures show­ing the State has the big­gest meth use in Aus­tralia.

South Hed­land Se­nior Sergeant Dean Snashall said po­lice were keen to have test­ing meth­ods placed in Hed­land to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of the local meth prob­lem.

He said there needed to be a gov­ern­ment ap­proach to study whether po­lice put more time and ef­fort into pros­e­cu­tion and seiz­ing drugs or fo­cused on coun­selling and di­ver­sion path­ways.

“All we can re­ally go by is the num­ber of sy­ringes that go out and the num­ber of charges and the amount of meth that we are seiz­ing,” he said.

“We’re not seiz­ing a lot of meth, un­for­tu­nately, be­cause it is such a hard drug to de­tect.” Sen. Sgt. Snashall said there was a lack of ser­vices in town to help peo­ple with chronic meth ad­dic­tion.

“We do have very min­i­mal beds and avail­abil­ity for beds for peo­ple who are seek­ing some coun­selling in re­la­tion to any drug ad­dic­tion,” he said.

The na­tion­wide Local Drug Ac­tion Team pro­gram has been funded as part of the re­sponse to the 2015 Na­tional Ice Task­force re­port.

Squads will be formed in ev­ery State as fig­ures show a 70 per cent in­crease of the drug on Aus­tralian streets in the past three years, with 293kg of ice seized in WA last year.

Vic­to­ria will get 15 of the teams, NSW 11, Queens­land six, two each for South Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia and one in North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

We’re not seiz­ing a lot of meth, un­for­tu­nately, be­cause it is such a hard drug to de­tect.

Se­nior Sergeant Dean Snashall

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