Detective Inspector Nikki Colfs says people shouldn’t have to deal with the drugs in their community and the crimes addicts commit to fund their habits.
In the first 26 days of this year there has already been more than 140 drug offences committed in the Mackay district and 190g of amphetamine based drugs, including ice, has been seized. Of the charges so far this year 65 have been for possessing dangerous drugs, two supplying, 62 for possessing utensils and one producing.
“We don’t want people driving around (on drugs), breaking in to peoples’ homes, stealing peoples’ property and not looking after their own children,” she said.
So far this year Mackay police has seized 80 MDMA tablets which includes ecstasy, prescription drugs morphine, valium, leukodna, miscontyn and 70g of cannabis, but the most common was ice.
“Behind it all is the addiction because ice is so addictive,” she said.
“Criminals associated with these drugs are committing further offences, these offences are violent, leading to assaults, leading to break and enters committed in the home.”
In 2016 there were more than 846 assault offences and 35 robbery offences in the district compared to 617 and 14 in 2015 respectively and 717 and 25 in 2014.
As for unlawful entry and handling stolen goods there was also an increase with 1420 and 183 last year respectively compared to 1215 and 155 in 2015, 1245 and 142 in 2014
Det Insp Colfs said her detectives were targeting the criminal organisations that brought these drugs into the Mackay region.
Over the 18 monthsthere has been 24 people charged with trafficking dangerous drugs and it was a continued focussed for her.
“People bring it in and distribute it all out. Queensland Police Service aims to run operations to actually locate and find those people bringing it in to the community,” she said.
“They are supplying…no they are trafficking drugs.
“It is a number of individuals, it could be a syndicate, that could be involved in the process. There is a whole lot of them out there.”
But to also stop the problem she wanted those who were addicted to come forward and ask for help to quit.
“We’re seeing the addictions of ice, we’re actually seeing how bad those addictions are,” she said.
“We want people to come forward and ask for help, that’s important.”
As for her officers who deal with it every day, she said they are becoming complacent with seeing ice addicts but it was the impacts the addictions were having their families which was hard to watch.
“It’s the humanity side of things that is hard where people are in the environment where kids aren’t being fed because the money is being spent on ice,” she said.
“They have no food for the next week and an organisation has to pick up the pieces.”
This piece was first seen on ‘Daily Mercury’ January 29, 2017.