War on 'ice': Record numbers of amphetamine busts in Qbn

THE Queanbeyan Local Government Area was named in the state’s top five areas for amphetamine dealing or trafficking in 2013.

Queanbeyan Police have arrested more than 60 offenders and seized more than $550,000 worth of drugs in the last year.

Queanbeyan Police have arrested more than 60 offenders and seized more than $550,000 worth of drugs in the last year.

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the Queanbeyan Local Government Area recorded 89 incidents of amphetamine dealing or trafficking in 2013. There were only nine incidents recorded in 2012.

The number equates to 214.8 per 100,000 of population, well above the state average of 21.7.

Queanbeyan Inspector Neil Grey said police were being pro-active in targeting the supply of all types of illicit drugs in the area including ‘ice’.

“Operations are ongoing to detect and convict known drug suppliers but are heavily reliant on information provided by members of the public,” he said.

“Operation ‘Delicate’ was commenced by the Drug and Property Unit at Monaro Local Area Command in 2012 and focused on the supply of illicit drugs in Queanbeyan and the ACT.”

The operation was finalised in April 2013 and resulted in the arrest of 60 offenders and 220 drug supply charges.

“Over $550,000 worth of illicit drugs were seized during the conduct of this operation,” Inspector Grey said.

“The majority of dealers arrested were involved in the sale of ‘ice’ along with other commodities.”

Incidents of dealing/trafficking of other drugs in Queanbeyan were low in comparison to the amphetamine statistics.

BOSCAR recorded no incidents of dealing/trafficking cocaine, one incident for ecstasy, six for narcotics and 36 for cannabis in 2013.

The only local government areas with worse rates for amphetamine dealing/trafficking were Bourke and Albury.

Interestingly, Queanbeyan’s use/possess amphetamine incident rate was just 17 which equates to 41 per 100,000, below the state average of 70 per 100,000.

Inspector Grey acknowledged amphetamine dealing was a widespread problem and not just isolated to Queanbeyan.

“The use and trafficking of ‘ice’ has massive social implications given the highly addictive nature of the drug,” he said.

“Queanbeyan is not immune from the social and policing problems associated with ‘ice’ use as addicted persons are known to commit other crimes to support their habit.”