Cops roll out high-tech truck in meth fight

Pilbara News - - News - Gabrielle Knowles

Po­lice have a new “weapon” to fight the State’s un­en­vi­able ti­tle as the meth cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia — a $500,000 X-ray truck to help de­tect drugs be­ing smug­gled in by road or mail.

Po­lice Min­is­ter Michelle Roberts said WA Po­lice was the first State agency to own its own mo­bile unit to scan parcels and freight at dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres as well as the con­tents of ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling on sus­pected drug tran­sit routes.

The high-tech truck has an X-ray unit sim­i­lar to those used at air­port se­cu­rity check­points as well as equip­ment to test the il­licit drugs and other sub­stances found.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Karl O’Cal­laghan said po­lice would take the truck to re­gional ar­eas for crack­downs on sus­pected drug tran­sit routes, us­ing pow­ers that came into force in Jan­uary to help stem the flow of metham­phetamine into the State.

The laws en­able po­lice to lock down a 5km stretch of coun­try road and de­clare it a sus­pected “drug tran­sit route” for up to 14 days. Ev­ery truck or car trav­el­ling on that road dur­ing the pe­riod could then be searched with­out the need for po­lice to demon­strate they had a “rea­son­able sus­pi­cion” there were drugs in the ve­hi­cle.

Mr O’Cal­laghan said the truck would be de­ployed on routes in­clud­ing the Eyre High­way and in the North West.

WA Po­lice have used a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment X-ray truck in re­cent months, with op­er­a­tions re­sult­ing in the dis­cov­ery of meth, cannabis, guns and ex­plo­sives.

Pic­ture: Sharon Smith

The drug truck be­ing used by WA Po­lice.

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