Highway Patrol officers are using new approaches to stop drug syndicates.
Highway Patrol officers are using new approaches to stop drug syndicates.

Drug runners on the radar

NEW methods of policing are disrupting major drug syndicates who are using the state's highways as supply routes.

Vehicles carrying mass quantities of illegal substances between Sydney and the Queensland border is not a new phenomenon, but new approaches targeting the supply chain are stopping drugs reaching the illegal market.

Coffs-Clarence Crime Manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said an interdiction model of policing is part of a multifaceted approach to disrupt illegal operations.

Interdiction entails police assessing a variety of factors including the age and model of a vehicle, its physical condition, and the behaviour of drivers and passengers.

It's based on a military term for the act of delaying, destroying or disrupting enemy forces or supplies and has been successfully used by a range of law enforcement agencies.

"Police are specifically trained to identify suspicious behaviour to target illegal activity," Insp. Jameson said.

"Under the interdiction model we've been able to intercept persons engaged in illegal activity and take them off the street."

The approach has delivered solid results, including a significant drug bust in Coffs Harbour earlier this week.

On Monday, nearly a quarter of a million dollars worth of crystal methylamphetamine was allegedly found concealed in the roof lining of a car travelling on the Pacific Hwy through Coffs Harbour.

Police will allege the driver, Andre Kallita, 22, is a member of DLASTHR - an Assyrian criminal gang active in the south western suburbs of Sydney.

Kallita was believed to have been travelling from Queensland to Sydney when he was apprehended.

"We don't believe that Coffs Harbour was the destination, but this is another example of drugs being transported up and down the East Coast," Insp. Jameson said.

The interdiction model is also being utilised on inland highways in a collaborative approach between NSW and Queensland police to target supply routes across the state border.


Drug offences on roads Jan-Mar 2015

  • Coffs Harbour - up 44% per year
  • Clarence Valley - up 56% per year
  • Kempsey - up 59% per year
  • Lismore - up 47% per year

Rate per 100,000

  • Byron Bay - 875.3
  • Tweed - 453.5
  • Clarence - 391.5
  • Coffs Harbour - 474.7
  • Richmond Valley - 418.5
  • Nambucca - 440
  • Kempsey - 376.7

Source: BOCSAR

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