Drug offences rise in Kingston
Drug offences in the Kingston area have risen by 12 per cent in the last year; the number of overall offences rose from 704 in 2015 to 789 to 2016 according to police data released by the Crime Statistic Agency.
The rise offences was primarily driven by a surge in methamphetamine offences with offences almost doubling in the past year from 84 in 2015 to 160 in 2016.
Inspector Bernie Edwards of Moorabbin CIU said the increased figures were a result of both “increased police activity and successful operations” and “a growing demand for illicit drugs in the bayside area”
Inspector Edwards said while the figure was high, it showed progress was being made due to the “hard-working determination of police members”.
He pointed to the successful ten month police investigation and raid last week (August 15) that busted a large drug syndicate in southern suburbs as proof that police were winning the battle saying “We hope it has a massive effect on organised crime”
Recently Spring St announced the second stage of the ‘Ice Action Plan’ with $57.6 million dollar investment. The plan aims to addresses drug offences at the root of the problem and attempts to address drug offences through education and rehabilitation in contrast to the mainstream efforts to address drug offences through punitive measures such as imprisonment or suspended sentences.
Attorney-General Martin Pakula said “The status quo isn’t working. The lack of effective sentencing options for serious drug-related offences has resulted in increased imprisonment rates, increased re-offending and a failure to address the underlying causes of addiction.”
Locally the Ice Action Plan has placed emphasis on community involvement in developing successful solutions to ice.
Up until the 20th of June local community groups have been able apply for grants of up to $10,000. Community groups within the Kingston council are among other councils to be encouraged to apply.