Ice Wars tackles problem

THE work being done to combat methamphetamines in communities across Australia will come to life on the small screen next month.

The ABC will air a four-part series titled Ice Wars that will feature a number of locations, including Wellington.

More than a year of work has gone into the series since filming was conducted in mid-2015, and according to Senior Sergeant Simon Madgwick, it will open a lot of people up to how big the problem has become.

TOUGH ISSUE: Senior Sergeant Simon Madgwick (far left) appears in promotional material for the Ice Wars series.

TOUGH ISSUE: Senior Sergeant Simon Madgwick (far left) appears in promotional material for the Ice Wars series.

Although he is currently based in Sydney, Snr Sgt Madgwick was Orana Local Area Command’s Wellington Sector Supervisor at the time of filming, and said he takes great pride in helping highlight the drug issue.

“The crew was with us for five or six days while we did some planned drug operations, and it will be good to see the end result all this time later,” he said.

“I’ve seen a rough version of the episode Wellington features in, and it’s terrific. Ice is a major problem but you can’t fix a problem until you recognise that there is one in the first place.

I’ve seen a rough version of the episode... and it’s terrific.

Senior Sergeant Simon Madgwick

“Until you’ve seen someone go crazy on ice, when they are irrational with superhuman strength, you just don’t know what it’s like.

“Ice Wars will be one of the most important series to air on our television screens because it will show the problem and how we’re trying to fix it.

“I go to sleep knowing that myself and the other officers did our absolute best to help the Wellington community. We made a genuine concerted effort, had countless conversations and the Dob In A Dealer and Gungie Origin programs were examples of that.”

The stigma associated with Wellington’s ice issues saw the town christened “Little Antarctica”.

But while he concedes there are problems that need to be solved, Snr Sgt Madgwick said the good aspects of the community outweigh the bad.

“Living in Sydney now I see a lot of things. It’s not just Wellington’s issue, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We took an approach in Wellington to admit there was a problem and try to fix that problem.

“That resulted in a high rate of drug arrests and offences being recorded. Some commands focus on other areas, and their figures skew to be high in those areas.

“People were motivated by their town being called “Little Antarctica” and it helped engage the community with the police.”