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Teens lured by evil drug ice in Bathurst

HAUL: Detective Senior Constable Aaron Burgess and Detective Senior Constable Ed Belfanti with drugs and weapons seized in recent raids. 030416drugs1AS the use of ice has tripled across Australia over the past five years, Bathurst police have been dealing with people as young as teenagers under the influence of the drug.
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The first research to track the growing rate of Australia’s addiction to the drug, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found that nearly 60,000 users were aged between 15 and 24.

Chifley local area command crime manager Inspector Luke Rankin yesterday said local police had put “enormous resources” into trying to stop the distribution of ice and other prohibited drugs.

He said the problem was both a policing and a social issue.

“We’ve dealt with teenagers, kids really, who have been under the influence of ice,” he said.

Inspector Rankin said the drug was more available and relatively cheap at about $30 a “point” and said police feared its availability put more people at risk of addiction.

He said the problem was not only the drug, but the other crime its use motivated.

“Organised crime here in the community, break and enters, thefts from retail stores; a lot of crime here in the community is drug-related,” he said.

“Subsequently, we have channelled enormous resources into targeting drug distribution on a number of levels.”

Inspector Rankin said the command’s incidents of supplying a prohibited drug were one of the highest on record, reflecting a commitment to targeting alleged suppliers.

He said when it comes to drug detection, “if you don’t look you don’t find”.

Inspector Rankin said police formed two strike forces, Wilke and Aport, to target the alleged supply of ice and heroin in the city.

“We went into the arrest phase late 2015, early 2016 and charged four persons in relation to prohibited drugs and firearms offences,” he said.

One man, 23-year-old David Peters (aka David Bettles), of Red Gum Place, was charged with multiple counts of supplying a prohibited drug and firearms offences.

The second strike force, Aport, which targeted heroin, has seen three people charged to date.

Two of those people – 50-year-old Robert Neal (aka Robert Morgan), of Annesley Crescent in Bathurst, and Rebecca Small, 37, from Annesley Crescent – were charged with supplying a commercial quantity of heroin.

Inspector Rankin said the allegations against those charged were still before Bathurst Local Court. All three remain in custody.

He said the arrests were the result of months of proactive investigations.

“People who provide us with information might wonder from time to time what happens with that information,” Inspector Rankin said. “I’m here to … give them an assurance the information they provide is invaluable to us.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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