Meth raids highlight risk to all: Cadogan

Bryan Cadogan
Bryan Cadogan
Recent police raids targeting methamphetamine in South Otago have revealed the "scourge" not only targets individuals using the drug but presents a risk to the entire community.

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan, who has "seen firsthand ... the damage that it has created", said police in the lower South Island were now encountering sophisticated, dangerous criminals dealing the drug - underscored by the seizure of a sawn-off shotgun from a Clutha property at the end of August.

Yesterday, Mr Cadogan lauded the efforts of the Clutha District Youth Council, which is hosting four methamphetamine awareness talks next week to improve the district's understanding of the drug.

"I think the residents of the Clutha district - and the wider lower South Island - are becoming more aware of the sophistication of the criminal activity in the lower South Island," he said.

"There's more sophistication. It's dominated by the gangs. There's the associated violence, social health issues, and suicides.

"The police are constantly faced with having to deal with this whole new dynamic."

Gangs created a void three years ago, Mr Cadogan said, putting small-time cannabis dealers out of business, and had since filled the void with methamphetamine "which has hugely more money involved - far more money to be made".

"The winner every time is the gangs - but the speed that this has come through our community ... definitely the majority of the community is still blissfully unaware of what's happening right under their noses.

"And it's not until their family is directly affected that they suddenly realise - by then it's too late," Mr Cadogan said.

At the time of the "Operation Wick" August arrests, Clutha-Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Stanley Leishman said methamphetamine was causing "social carnage" and he appealed to the public to assist in reducing the drug's impact on communities.

"Police can't eliminate methamphetamine alone - it takes the wider community's assistance to help combat the negative impact of this drug," Snr Sgt Leishman said.

The Clutha youth council is hosting talks next week in Milton, Tapanui, Lawrence and Balclutha, bringing back Tauranga volunteer paramedic Pat Buckley, who presented his Amped4Life education programme in Balclutha in March.

The awareness campaign is an initiative of MAC (Methamphetamine Awareness Campaign) Clutha.

Comments

The solution to the meth problem includes the need to change many fundamental aspects of NZ law. We have far too many “technical compliance” barriers the police need to overcome to put evidence in court. It is common knowledge the gangs push the meth so destroy the gangs. We have too much green liberal lefty human rights outcry restricting the police from doing what needs to be done. I am a strong human rights supporter. I believe my most fundamental human right is my grandchildren can go to school and play in the street without being approached by meth dealers.

The law is lettered.
Anti police sentiment is demonstrably Right Wing, so 'outcry' is irrelevant.

The Right is no Friend of The Force.

Well said John Anderson.
There appears to be some resistance in coming down on Gangs in Otago. The ODT has reported recently that in Gore and Oamaru, both town chambers of commerce / Town councils don't want to come down hard on the wearing of gang regalia, thereby accepting gang influences within these two towns.

It's the Free Speech Coalition causing that.

 

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