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Help police get rid of the scourge of drugs

Help police get rid of the scourge of drugs

It is the community that can help police to get rid of the "scourge of drugs".

That's the message from Senior Constable Dave Kirk, Central District's spokesperson for the annual operation against the illegal cultivation of cannabis.

The growing season is now underway and the public are being encouraged to keep their eyes peeled and report suspicious behaviour.

"The majority of people in New Zealand do not want drugs on their doorstep and do not want their children growing up exposed to the misery that drugs can cause," said Senior Constable Kirk. "We have seen clear evidence in Central District where public information has led to major drug seizures. We can do something about the scourge of drugs with the help of the community.

"It may be that someone knows of a cannabis grow or knows someone who is cultivating the drug but feels for whatever reason that they cannot speak directly to the police. I can assure those people that information will be treated in confidence and there is also now a means of reporting information anonymously through Crimestoppers; an organisation that is independent of police."

It is this time of year that police particularly need residents and visitors to rural areas of the District to be extra vigilant. Plants being grown outdoors will be generally in the region of knee-height by now and noticeable.

Deerstalkers, pig-hunters, trampers, people taking part in outdoor recreation, and people working in the rural and aviation industries can all be excellent eyes and ears for police at this time of the year.

Plots won't necessarily be large. Offenders change their behaviour and gone are the days of 300 or 400 plants all together. Now they tend to be in smaller groups of 10 to 15 in the hope they go unnoticed; with other small groups inevitably close by.

Police are asking the public to report any suspicious activity including:
• People seen repeatedly going to certain locations
• People seen at odd times
• People somewhere they are not supposed to be
• Shovels, spades and other such equipment being carried into the bush
• Vehicles in rural areas closed to the public or with difficult access
• Unusual lights in rural areas at night
• Distinctive smell coming from rural areas or properties
• Items going missing from rural properties that might be used in accessing plots and cultivation such as farm bikes and fencing equipment

"It could be drugs, it could be innocent, it could be other type offending such as rustling. Just report the activity and the police will do the rest. Anyone who hasn't done anything wrong has absolutely nothing to fear," said Senior Constable Kirk.

Even when cannabis is being grown inside buildings there are tell-tale signs for the public and landlords to look out for.

• Residents increasing fence heights
• Curtains closed day and night
• Shed and garage windows being blocked out
• Bright lights on constantly or at strange times
• Sounds of fans continually running
• Vehicles and people visiting hours at all hours of the days

If you have information about drugs cultivation, manufacture or supply ring your local Police Station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


© Scoop Media

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