‘We’re losing the war on meth’, says Police Association

By May 23, 2017 Recent News

NewsTalk ZB 23 May 2017
The Police Association says we’re losing the war on methamphetamine.

Police figures show 889 kg of ‘P’ was seized last year – more than double the previous year’s haul.

Police Association president Chris Cahill told Mike Hosking the problem is only growing, but things are being done.

He said more officers in the districts will help hit gangs selling meth in smaller provincial centres.

“Also we need to continue to work with those overseas partners, especially in China. What’s happened now is the demand’s actually being driven by massive supply in China.

“That’s driving down the price, so we’ve really got to get in and work well with those partners.”

Cahill said international drug dealers target New Zealand because they can make such big profits here.

“We really need to get into that education and that rehabilitation side as well, it’s not just a police issue.”

P coming down to meet price of cannabis – campaigner
NewsHub 23 May 2017
An anti-meth campaigner says P is getting cheaper, and is coming down to meet the price of cannabis.

“It’s a lot easier to get meth than what it is cannabis. That’s never been a problem before,” Andrew Hopgood told The AM Show.

“Meth is now easier to get than cannabis, and it’s coming down to meet the price of cannabis. An ounce of cannabis is, what, $300, $350. A gram of meth is $400, $450. It’s more affordable to our young.”

This comes after documents released to Newshub showed police admitting record seizure rates are having “no visible impact on the availability” of the drug.

The market adapted to increased police seizures, there were no issues with supply and the price of the drug fell, the documents revealed. In 2015 police confiscated 342kg. By September last year, they’d seized 889kg.

Mr Hopgood said the Government has “no idea how big the problem is.”

He said treatment centres are full, and a lack of funding has led some to rehab centres to seek donations through crowfunding in order to operate.

“If someone says to me today ‘I want to go into rehab. I want help now,’ I’ve got to turn around and say, ‘Well, can you wait two or three months?'”

He estimates more than one thousand people are waiting for rehab treatment.

He says the Government has no idea how big the problem is.

“They need to stop locking people up. They’ve been doing it for a hundred years, and it just doesn’t work.

“They name and shame them, they isolate them, they come out with a criminal record and they can’t get a job, so they go back… When they are in jail, someone else takes over their business. Jail doesn’t do anything,” Mr Hopgood said.

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