Police launch campaign to get ICE off Coffs Coast streets
ASK Coffs Clarence Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, about the effects of crystal methamphetamine, or ICE, he's not backward in describing how devastating the drug is.
"Far too many families in Coffs Harbour and surrounds are having to deal with the unrelenting havoc this horrible drug wreaks," Supt Holahan said.
"Officers across the entirety of the NSW Police Force are working together to combat the ICE scourge.
"Regional and rural commands are working closely with colleagues in the Drug Squad, as well as local community groups, to tackle the use and supply of ICE in country towns."
Last year there were 106 cases of amphetamine possession in the Coffs Harbour area. A figure that was more than double the number of arrests for the same crime in 2013.
It's a sign officers from the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command are doing everything in their power to stop the use of ICE and other illicit substances within our community.
But it's a mammoth task and help from the local community is needed if the police are going rid the Coffs Coast of this menace.
It is for this reason NSW Police has launched an ICE reporting campaign.
The campaign is designed to raise the agenda of ICE as a serious community issue by showing the impacts, and encouraging the reporting of drug dealing and manufacture to police via the Crime Stoppers hotline.
"Quite simply, we are committed to doing everything we can to stop this poison from destroying more lives but we cannot do this alone," Supt Holahan said.
"Dozens of people in Coffs Harbour and surrounds are doing their bit to help police get ICE and other drugs out of our community, and we're encouraging more people to join the fight.
"Please do not underestimate the immensely positive impact one anonymous call to Crime Stoppers can make."
The Local Area Commander said he's seen the effects of the destructive drug and that is why everybody needs to be alert to help fight the battle against it.
"ICE is a highly addictive and extremely dangerous drug that is having devastating impact on individuals, families and communities right across NSW," he said.
"ICE doesn't discriminate - it doesn't matter where you are from or what your social circumstance is, if you start taking this drug your life is going to be seriously compromised.
ICE IN COFFS HARBOUR
- Over the 24 months to December 2014, the number of arrests for amphetamine possession increased by 116%.
- There were 106 cases of amphetamine possession in the Coffs Harbour LGA in 2014, more than double the 49 arrests in 2013 and more than 10 times the nine arrests in 2010.
- During 2014, 10 people were arrested for dealing/trafficking amphetamines within the Coffs Harbour LGA, while three were arrested and charged with drug manufacture. These numbers are similar to those of 2013, when nine people were arrested for dealing/trafficking amphetamines and four were arrested and charged with drug manufacture.
Drug has devastating grip on our local community
IF YOU'RE of the belief the use of ICE isn't part of your social circle, think again.
The latest figures from the National Drug Survey suggest one in every 50 Australians use methylamphetamine.
Coffs Clarence Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, sadly knows too many methylamphetamine cases on the Coffs Coast.
One case study he produced shows how devastating the drug can be.
A 28-year-old Coffs Harbour man has spent more than three of the last four years in jail, after starting to use ICE in 2011.
Over the course of his time using ICE, the man has committed a number of criminal offences including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and numerous break, enter and steal offences.
He is in jail until early next year and police have been advised that his behaviour inside prison is consistent with other prisoners who have abused ICE - swinging from fits of rage to moments of overwhelming anxiety and fear.
Supt Holahan said arresting the dealers and manufacturers would go a long way towards breaking the grip ICE had on members of the local community.
"The peddlers of this drug do not care about you, me or our children. They care about themselves and their drive to make a quick dollar. They are dealers in misery and destruction of families," he said.
"We owe them nothing except to have them arrested and placed before the court to make our community safe.
If you have any information about Ice supply in Coffs Harbour or surrounding areas, please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. People should not report crime information via the Crime Stoppers Facebook and Twitter pages.