Term 3: Cannabis sea­son

Marlborough Express - - NEWS -

A small ru­ral school in Marl­bor­ough is do­ing its part in help­ing crack down on cannabis.

In Have­lock School’s lat­est news­let­ter, just be­low the crosscoun­try re­sults, sits an ad­vert from po­lice ask­ing for drug tipoffs.

Po­lice have pub­lished an ap­peal for res­i­dents of the Marl­bor­ough Sounds com­mu­nity to be ex­tra vig­i­lant as cannabis-grow­ing sea­son ap­proaches.

The news­let­ter also ad­vises peo­ple to keep an eye out for ‘‘peo­ple in the bush who do not look like they are hunt­ing or tramp­ing’’.

Con­sta­ble Spencer Kingi, one of Have­lock’s two po­lice­men, says grow­ers will look to hide cannabis crops in ru­ral ar­eas and the pub­lic’s help is cru­cial.

‘‘The pub­lic of­ten acts as the eyes and ears of po­lice.

‘‘For this rea­son, we reach out to peo­ple in a num­ber of ways; from no­tices in news­let­ters, en­gage­ment through so­cial and tra­di­tional me­dia chan­nels, through to daily con­tact with in­di­vid­u­als in our com­mu­ni­ties.

‘‘Po­lice are fo­cused on keep­ing peo­ple safe and re­duc­ing harm in our com­mu­ni­ties, where the sup­ply of il­licit drugs has a big im­pact,’’ he says.

Marl­bor­ough’s ru­ral and of­ten re­mote lo­ca­tions make it a mag­net for grow­ers.

Last year po­lice net­ted 9000 cannabis plants in the an­nual aerial re­cov­ery op­er­a­tion in the top of the south and West Coast. About 6000 plants were re­cov­ered in the Nel­son-Marl­bor­ough area of the Tas­man po­lice district and 3000 on the West Coast.

Have­lock School Prin­ci­pal Ernie Bu­utveld say the news­let­ter is a great tool to help spread com­mu­nity mes­sages.

‘‘The com­mu­nity sup­ports the school by ad­ver­tis­ing and so al­lows, de­spite the dig­i­tal age, over 650 hard copies to be dis­trib­uted in the wider Have­lock area … hence the po­lice us­ing it to spread the word.

‘‘They have had some suc­cess in the past with other work in this fash­ion.’’

Any­one who sus­pects il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity can email Kingi on sky426@po­lice.govt.nz

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