Drugs trigger crime

Methamphetamine (ice) remains a significant problem in West Gippsland and is a major driver of the majority of volume crime offences.

Methamphetamine (ice) remains a significant problem in West Gippsland and is a major driver of the majority of volume crime offences.

Despite latest crime statistics indicating a decline in drug offences, police say drug use continues to be a major contributing factor in crime across the Baw Baw police service area.
Latest Crime Statistics Agency data released last month for the 12 month period ending in March showed an overall 3.8 per cent decline in crime across the Baw Baw police area.
A significant decrease was the decline in drug related offences, including trafficking and possession, which have almost halved in the past two years.
Total drug crime offences two years ago in March 2016 were 441. The figures released this year were 236, a 46 per cent decline.
In that same period, there has been a shift in police resources from a targeted special operations unit in Warragul targeting drug activity to now a divisional tasking unit based in Morwell.
But, Baw Baw CIU detective sergeant Gordon Hynd said the statistics reflected arrests, not the true level of drug activity and offences occurring in the community.
“Crime statistics don’t measure the level of drug harm in the community. But how do we ever measure that,” he said.
Det sgt Hynd said methamphetamine (ice) remained a significant problem in West Gippsland and was a major driver of the majority of volume crime offences.
He said drug use, particularly ice addiction, also continued to have a major impact on family violence and played a role in serious crime offences.
“The vast majority of people shown into our interview rooms after arrest are drug users,” he said.


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