Meth con­vic­tions on rise across South­land re­gion

The Invercargill Eye - - CONVERSATIONS - RACHAEL KELLY

Sta­tis­tics from the Min­istry of Jus­tice re­quested by Stuff un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act show that the num­ber of peo­ple con­victed for im­port­ing, deal­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing or pos­sess­ing metham­phetamine, or drug uten­sil of­fences in South­land, has in­creased from three of­fend­ers in 2012/2013 to 29 of­fend­ers in the 2016/2017 year.

The South­land fig­ures are of of­fend­ers where their most se­ri­ous metham­phetamine charge was heard in the dis­trict court at Alexan­dra, Gore, In­ver­cargill or Queen­stown.

Na­tion­ally, the to­tals have in­creased from 1215 peo­ple con­victed in 2012/2013 to 2199 in the 2016/2017 year.

For the pur­poses of the sta­tis­tics, an of­fender was counted once a year, and if they were charged with more than one metham­phetamine of­fence in a year the de­tails of the most se­ri­ous of­fence were in­cluded in the sta­tis­tics.

De­tec­tive sergeant Scott McKen­zie of Gore said po­lice work hard to re­duce harm from drugs such as metham­phetamine, which like all parts of New Zealand, is present in South­land.

‘‘We will hold sup­pli­ers to ac­count and make ar­rests and seize this de­struc­tive drug.

‘‘We en­cour­age lo­cal peo­ple to work with us to en­sure we stop drugs such as metham­phetamine caus­ing more harm to our com­mu­ni­ties by con­tin­u­ing to be vig­i­lant to this type of be­hav­iour.’’

Po­lice ask the pub­lic to con­tinue com­ing for­ward with in­for­ma­tion about drug ac­tiv­ity in their area.

If any­one sees any­thing sus­pi­cious in their neigh­bour­hood that could be linked to drugs, they could either call their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion, or in­for­ma­tion could be left anony­mously on Crimestop­pers (Ph 0800 555 111).

‘‘Metham­phetamine is a highly ad­dic­tive chem­i­cal-based drug that is de­struc­tive to the user and more of­ten than not to their re­la­tion­ships, whanau, friends and jobs.

‘‘I can­not stress enough the need for fam­i­lies to keep their chil­dren, friends and loved ones away from this drug so as to avoid the dam­age it cre­ates,’’ De­tec­tive sergeant McKen­zie said. ‘‘Help is avail­able and ed­u­ca­tion on the dan­gers is the key to pre­ven­tion of this harm­ful sub­stance.’’

If you know some­one who needs help with a drug ad­di­tion, con­tact the Al­co­hol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.

Po­lice ask the pub­lic to con­tinue com­ing for­ward with in­for­ma­tion about drug ac­tiv­ity in their area.

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