Demand increases for methdetectors
It is similar in shape in size to a smoke alarm, but it’s not for detecting fire.
The company that sells the MethMinder, a device that detects the highly toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, says demand for the product has gone through the roof over the past year.
MethSolutions sells the Kiwi invention that’s fitted with a Vodafone SIM card and sends out a covert alarm to the company if it detects certain ingredients used in cooking P.
Nicky Stratford, a spokesperson for Auckland-based MethSolutions, says the device is used as a prevention tool by landlords.
‘‘With every installation we also do a baseline test for meth at the property and work with tenants on how to understand and identify the risks of meth con- tamination. It is all about deterrence at the end of the day.’’
Stratford says there is currently a back-order for the device as the company tries to produce enough detectors to match the ever-growing demand.
She says the device works ‘‘by constantly sniffing the air’’, if it detects a meth ingredient it then informs MethSolutions who will contact the property manager or landlord.
Housing New Zealand has a zero tolerance approach to drug use but the number of properties testing positive for P is rising.
From 2013/2014 the number of Housing NZ Auckland houses that tested positive for meth was 17. This number has skyrocketed to 262 properties between 2015 and 27 May, 2016.
It is understood Tamaki Regeneration Company, who was transferred 2800 state houses last year, has been considering the use of MethMinders but no decision has yet been made.
Housing NZ estimates the minimum clean-up cost of a meth property at $14,350.
Housing NZ chemical programmes manager Charlie Mitchell says the corporation has investigated various meth detecting devices but ‘‘these do not currently meet our needs’’.
‘‘Housing NZ will test for methamphetamine contamination when we have reason to believe a property is contaminated with P.’’