Drug labs on police hit list

NORTH Coast drug syndicates are in the firing line in a major police offensive now under way.

Officers will combine with other law enforcement agencies in the next two weeks for Operation Unification in a crackdown on illegal drugs and clandestine laboratories.

Police have smashed several labs on the Coffs Coast recently and local residents are now urged to support the campaign by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if they have information on the manufacture and distribution of drugs such as amphetamines.

“The number of illicit clandestine drug laboratories identified by police has risen by more than 20 per cent this year alone,” said NSW Drug Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham.

“NSW Police have so far identified and dismantled 83 clandestine drug laboratories this year. Illegal drug manufacture poses a substantial risk not only to those directly involved in the production but also to bystanders and residents.

“The chemicals used in illicit drug manufacture are toxic and can be hazardous if used in confined areas. These clandestine labs not only produce dangerous drugs but create toxic and explosive environments that can put the community at risk.”

The Chemical Operations Unit, attached to the NSW State Crime Command’s Drug Squad, conducts regular pro-active operations to identify and dismantle clandestine drug laboratories.

“Tackling illicit drug labs is everyone’s business,” Mr Bingham said.

“Information from the public is vital in assisting police to identify and dismantle these labs.”

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