DEDICATED meth teams within WA Police to target methamphetamine dealers is an excellent way of reaching users, a crisis accommodation general manager said.
The State Government last month announced a plan to target meth supply with a new police action plan, and a $335,000 public education campaign aimed at non-users and users of the illicit drug.
Police Minister Liza Harvey said meth transport teams would be established to stop supply routes into the State and meth teams to catch dealers.
“We know the majority of methamphetamine is being imported into WA and the meth transport teams will aim to stop the flow of drugs before they reach the streets,” Mrs Harvey said.
55 Central Maylands general manager Kevin Dunn said the use of meth was widespread and not confined to any particular group.
“One of the appeals of methamphetamine is that it is extremely easy to synthesise and produce, making it cheap to buy,” he said.
“It should be pointed out that other drugs including heroin and cocaine are very expensive to buy on the streets in Australia compared to other countries, because these drugs are smuggled through multiple routes and ports.
“This is why methamphetamine is the drug of choice for many people.”
Mrs Harvey said the plan would also create an intelligence meth desk to support the meth teams; further strengthen multi-agency partnerships targeting road, rail, air and post; establish joint agency teams targeting methamphetamine money trails; and explore legislation to strengthen meth enforcement.
Mr Dunn praised the Government plan and said users caught up with the criminal justice system might realise they are in crisis and need help.
“Methamphetamine users who are recently arrested may experience a rock bottom; a moment of epiphany,” he said.
“Ironically this may provide a window of opportunity to help and treatment.
“Drug users are more likely to come to the attention of the criminal justice system long before they come to the attention of drug treatment services.”
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the new public education campaign was being developed for release later this year to coincide with the summer festival period.
“The target group for the campaign includes 15 to 29-year-olds, focusing on those who are at risk of use, or are using methamphetamine,” Ms Morton said.
“In addition, we are also re-developing the Drug Aware website (drugaware.com.au) so it is accessible from any device, including smart phones.”