Tip-offs reduce illicit drug use | Video, interactive

Cooperation between police and the community are vital for reducing illicit drug use and possession.
Cooperation between police and the community are vital for reducing illicit drug use and possession.

Partnerships between police and the community have been instrumental in bringing down the rates of illicit drug use and possession in the Orana region, Dubbo MP Troy Grant said.

Rates of use/possess amphetamines (including crystal methamphetamine, or ice) have dropped or remained stable across the Orana region, the latest NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures have shown.

Gilgandra, Bogan, Wellington and Coonamble were all in the state’s top 25 hot spots for the crime in the 12 months to March 2017, while seven of the 13 Orana region local government areas (LGAs) had a rate of amphetamine use and possession higher than the state average.

But all LGAs saw either a slight drop in the rate of incidents (calculated per 100,000 people) or no change, while the NSW rate increased slightly.

Mr Grant said initiatives like Dob in a Dealer and Crime Stoppers were instrumental in reducing crime.

“I think this is a direct result of significant police operations,” Mr Grant said.

“The use of amphetamine and other illicit drugs has been contributing to our property crime and the rise we’ve had in stolen motor vehicles and damage to motor vehicles so this is welcome news.”

Gilgandra leapt from ninth to third over the 12 month period with a rate 2.5 times the NSW average, but the number of incidents was small – 14 in the 12 months to March 2017 compared to 10 in the 12 months to March 2016.

Dubbo saw a 26 per cent drop in the number of incidents, from 96 in the year to March 2016 to 71 in the year to March 2017, while the two-year trend was stable.

And while Wellington, Bogan, Gilgandra, Warrumbungle Shire, Bourke, Brewarrina and Warren all recorded slight increases in the number of recorded incidents, the number of offences was still too small for BOCSAR to calculate two-year trends.

Mr Grant said the figures for March to June 2017 showed even more improvement across a number of crime categories.

“I encourage the community to continue to report the suspicious and bad behaviour,” Mr Grant said.

“While they may not see the results within a short … period, they are not ignored and they may fill part of a bigger picture, a piece of the jigsaw that help the police bring down a bigger enterprise and a bigger operation so your call is very important and is well worthwhile.”