New powers for police to combat drug dealers
POLICE will get tough new powers to search homes and vehicles of convicted drug dealers.
The introduction of Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will mean police in the Coffs-Clarence Policing District will have a greater capacity to stop drug manufacture.
A court issued Drug Supply Prohibition Order will give police the power to search the homes, vehicles and person of convicted drug dealers at any time without a warrant, if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that there is evidence of drug-related crime.
Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh today welcomed the announcement by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
"One big issue raised with me as I've been around the electorate is the high instance of substance abuse," Mr Singh said.
"These new powers will assist our brave police men and women, including the 1500 additional police that The Nationals in Government will deliver in the next term of government - to make our streets safer."
An order will ensure that police are able to specifically target convicted drug dealers who are considered likely to continue to engage in drug supply, without having to apply for multiple court warrants, helping to ensure that convicted drug dealers are held to account if they continue to engage in drug-related crime.
"Drug addiction and ice have become a major issue in parts of regional NSW, and police need every measure available to combat them," Mr Singh said.
"Too often, police know who is responsible for dealing these drugs but don't always have the capacity to shut them down - these new powers will help overcome that."
"I want to make sure that young people are not targeted by drug dealers and are afforded the opportunity to gain employment and live fulfilling lives."
Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will initially operate as a two-year pilot program specific to four police commands - Bankstown Police Area Command, Coffs-Clarence Police District, Hunter Valley Police District, and Orana Mid-Western Police District.
Orders made will remain in force for the duration of the pilot program and will allow police to search a person or their property for prohibited drugs, drug pre-cursors, drug paraphernalia or equipment for drug manufacture, or other evidence of drug supply or manufacture.
An application for an order may be made in relation to any person convicted of a serious drug offence, such as supply or manufacture of an indictable quantity, in the past 10 years.
Consistent with the exercise of any police power, Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will be subject to oversight by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.