Comments Off on Methamphetamine use on the rise in in Gisborne and Wairoa

METHAMPHETAMINE use is on the rise in Gisborne and Wairoa, and police have called for increased public support to help crack down on a trade that is worth tens of thousands of dollars a week.

Police say the drug is primarily sold by the gangs.

Methamphetamine is dealt by the gangs to make money and they don’t care about the harm it causes,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Scott of the Gisborne CIB.

“They don’t care who they sell to and in some cases that means family members.”

Det Snr Sgt Scott says the drug has a real foothold in the community and probably mostly among people who cannot afford to be using it.

“Therefore they get involved in dealing it themselves to pay for their own habit.”

Wairoa police have found ‘P’, ‘ice’ or ‘crack’ is becoming more prevalent than before and it’s across a lot of different demographics, says Wairoa CIB head Detective Sergeant Martin James.

“The level of public awareness of the increased use needs to be raised in the community.

“People need to be aware that methamphetamine is here in our community and it’s having a huge effect on social behaviour,” Det Sgt James says.

“People need to understand the damage this drug can cause.”

Police were often dealing with the aftermath and he says a lot of violence-related incidents Wairoa police were attending were the result of methamphetamine use.

Det Snr Sgt Scott says Gisborne police have also noted increased violence and health issues, both physical and mental, caused by the drug.

“We are called to violent incidents where we definitely believe meth was a factor and that has been the case for a while now.

“The statistics don’t tell us that violence across the board is on the increase but the use of meth certainly is, and it’s associated with violence,” he says.

“It’s a drug where you lack a sense of your actions.

“You don’t care what you’re doing and you don’t care about the consequences,” Det Snr Sgt Scott says.

Wairoa police have seen people who have been cannabis users graduating on to meth.

“It is becoming more and more common for Wairoa police to go to a cannabis user’s address and find methamphetamine and methamphetamine paraphernalia,” Det Sgt James says.

“The high from cannabis is no longer sufficient.

“So they have gone on to methamphetamine, which is highly addictive and once they become addicted, they have to support that habit.”

Det Snr Sgt Scott says cannabis use is still definitely there. “But for some people here, as in Wairoa, it has become a pathway drug into methamphetamine.”

He says a large number of people are actively involved in dealing the drug in the Gisborne-East Coast district.

“Tens of thousands of dollars changes hands for it in the district each week.”

The police say one gram of meth costs $700-$1000, with users paying $100 for 0.1 of a gram.

Both officers say in most cases the drug is brought in from out of the district.

“Auckland is the prime supply centre for the drug,” Det Snr Sgt Scott says.

Signs of meth use can be irrational behaviour, mood swings, sores on the face or body, picking at skin, rotting or brown teeth, not sleeping for long periods or erratic sleeping, nervousness or anxiety, being unusually active or weight loss.

“A heavy period of meth use is often followed by a crash, in which users cannot control their sleeping, and sleep for long hours or keep falling into a sleep.”

Police in Gisborne and Wairoa want information about people involved in the trade.

“We want information about its use and who is selling it in our communities.”

If people have any information around the sale of methamphetamine, contact police directly or anonymously on the Crimestoppers hotline 0800 555 111.




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