POLICE armed to the teeth with tougher laws have shut down a host of drug houses and charged 581 people across NSW.
"Since the introduction of the Police Powers (Drug Premises) Act 2001, police have closed 232 drug houses, including 59 in Cabramatta," Police Minister John Watkins said.
"The legislation was introduced by the Government in response to the sophisticated drug activity occurring in Cabramatta and other areas with- in NSW.
"Drug dealers go to great lengths to hide their filthy trade from police.
"That includes installing fortified steel doors, sophisticated locks, barriers and lookouts and alarms to shield dealers and their customers from raids.
"The legislation allows police to lay serious charges even if no drugs are found on site.
"For example, officers can confiscate drug production im- plements like scales or even plastic bags."
"This legislation has been particularly successful in Cabramatta, which accounts for almost 20 per cent of the charges laid.
"The Government is committed to cleaning up the drug scourge in Cabramatta, and the relentless efforts of police are achieving a safer suburb there.
"But Cabramatta is not the only area to benefit from the legislation. Drug houses are being shut down all across the State.
"This legislation is helping police turf criminals out of drug houses and close them down, creating safer communities."
Some of the charges include entering or leaving a drug premises, allowing premises to be used as drug premises, organising a drug premises, obstructing an officer entering a drug premises, and giving alarm to persons inside drug premises.