Drug raids fall short

A police officer talks to some children at the scene of a house raid last week.
A police officer talks to some children at the scene of a house raid last week.

For the past seven years local police have gathered intelligence on the Department of Housing property which is frequented by people who, soon after leaving, are often stopped and charged with possession of cannabis.

Seven search warrants on the property, five of which were conducted in the past 18 months, have resulted in only minor drug possession charges against the property’s tenants.

In the most recent raid on Wednesday, July 3, police discovered small amounts of cannabis, three smoking implements, one round of ammunition and $750 hidden with empty zip lock bags.

Swan MHR Steve Irons said if police had evidence that the tenants were openly selling drugs then the Department of Housing should take action against them.

Department of Housing general manager service delivery Steve Parry said the department was unable to comment on the tenancy due to privacy.

‘If a tenant is convicted of possessing a quantity of illegal drugs sufficient to suggest an intention to sell or supply, the Department will move to evict,’ Mr Parry said.

Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said drug dealing was unacceptable in any area and encouraged people to report suspicious activity to police.

‘It is only when police get enough intelligence to establish investigations and source search warrants that anything can be done,’ Ms Godfrey said.

‘The second part is to connect neighbours with the Department of Housing’s disruptive behaviour manage- ment unit so that if a state housing property is being used as a drug house individuals can help gather the evidence necessary to terminate that tenancy.’

Belmont police station officer in charge Senior-Sergeant Peter Arancini said police could not comment on the property because of ongoing investigations.

‘Illicit drugs and drug dealers appear limited in the Belmont area, however police remain vigilant to ensure all drug matters are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner,’ Sgt Arancini said.

‘The community needs to report any suspicious activity to the police.’

He said all information collected was analysed and passed on to local police.