No one would argue that certain illegal drugs are shredding the fabric of communities across the globe and halting their distribution at the source is a better option than cleaning up the aftermath.
Results from Crime Stoppers’ recent Dob in a DRUG Dealer campaign are expected to disrupt the nation’s illegal drugs market for some time thanks to more than 47,000 Information reports received from concerned people in the community.
This morning a press conference was held at the Ballina Library with Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Toby Lindsay and Crime Stoppers NSW CEO Peter Price AM to acknowledge the contributions of the NSW Police and the local community in helping disrupt the drug trade, and to remind and reinforce the importance of continuing to play a part in keeping communities safe.
The campaign, which ran from September 2018 until April 2019, encouraged people to confidentially provide information about anyone making, growing or selling drugs; with plenty taking advantage of the opportunity to share what they know.
If you operate an illegal drugs trade, start looking over your shoulder
Mr Price said it’s fair to say that if you operate in the illegal drugs trade then you should start looking over your shoulder, because police experienced a staggering 65% increase in the number of drug-specific Information Reports received during the Dob in a Dealer campaign. ‘The valuable information provided to Crime Stoppers is expected to provide police with strong lines of enquiry in relation to drug manufacturing labs, illegal importation activities and drug dealing syndicates active in metropolitan, regional and rural locations right across the country.’
‘On the back of the recent release of the latest wastewater drug monitoring results by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, it is imperative to do everything possible to ensure ongoing disruption to the illegal drug trade.
‘The average consumption of MDMA in capital city and regional sites, and the average heroin consumption in capital city sites is now at the highest levels ever recorded.’
Mr Price says authorities know people are increasingly concerned about the level of drug use amongst their families, friends and work mates.
‘That’s why Crime Stoppers in Australia held more than 81 community-based events during the Dob in a Drug Dealer campaign to directly engage people at a grass-roots level to explain the dangers of drugs and encourage them to share information with Crime Stoppers,’ he said.
Dealers are often hiding in plain sight
‘Drug dealers are often hiding in plain sight within the community and are able to conduct their illicit trade unchallenged because people are often too scared to speak out for fear of retaliation. Crime Stoppers provides a solution where they can share what they know anonymously, and the Dob in a Dealer campaign drove home that message.’
Mr Price, said information from the community had already sparked police raids and investigations across Australia, resulting in quantities of illegal drugs and precursor chemicals being seized, including Fantasy, Amphetamine, GHB, and Cannabis.
‘It’s also common for weapons to be seized from drug dealing criminals during raids, as well as stolen property and large quantities of cash from the proceeds of drug deals. And while every piece of information can make a real difference, it’s important to understand that information provided to police via Crime Stoppers may achieve an immediate result or can also form part of longer-term investigations,’ Mr Price said.
‘Crime Stoppers NSW together with NSW Police Force was pleased to play an active part in this national success, with 17 Local Area Campaigns generating about 350 Information Reports during the period while a total of 14,707 Information Reports were achieved in the state throughout the entire 6-month campaign,’ he said.
In addition to extensive media activity, the Dob in a Drug Dealer campaign also featured a strong multi-cultural presence to directly engage a wider cross-section of the community.
Richmond Police District Commander, Superintendent Toby Lindsay says the Dob In A Dealer campaign gives the public confidence to report crime anonymously and help officers remove drugs from the streets.
Keeping our communities safe
‘The information we receive through Crime Stoppers NSW and the Dob in a Dealer campaign allows officers both in the Richmond District and across the state to make significant arrests and keep our communities safe,’ he said. ‘This campaign helps to educate the public about the dangers of illicit drugs, and the potential life-long impacts they can have.
‘We continue to encourage anyone to take the time and provide information – it might just help to reduce the availability of illicit drugs and minimise the harm they can cause,’ he said
Mr Price thanks goes to the community for their trust in sharing what they know, to the police for acting on information received and for the Federal Government’s significant funding which helped make the Dob in a Dealer campaign possible.
‘While the Dob in a Drug Dealer campaign has now finished, our focus on helping to stop drug makers and dealers continues. That’s why we urge the community to come forward and report any information about criminals or criminal activity to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or making a report at crimestoppers.com.au’.