Crimeline helps Police catch synthetic cannabis sellers
Confidential crimeline helps Police catch synthetic cannabis sellers
Waikato, 16 September 2013 - Hamilton Police say the prosecution of a City business for breaching new legislation regulating synthetic cannabinoids shows the value of the anonymous Crimestoppers service as a crime prevention tool.
City Licensing Supervisor, Sergeant Jim Kernohan, said a combined team of Police and Ministry of Health officials conducted a Controlled Purchase Operation (CPO) using an adult volunteer on Thursday.
"The team visited six shops and unfortunately one business did sell our volunteer a synthetic cannabinoid product as well as a soft drink which is in breach of the Psychoactive Substances Act.
"That act prohibits the sale of synthetic cannabinoid products in premises where foodstuffs are also sold. The business in question has had an interim licence to sell such products issued and the two agencies involved in last week's operation are now seeking to have that interim licence revoked."
Mr Kernohan said on the positive side of the ledger was the fact that Thursday's operation was an information led activity with some of the information being provided by concerned members of the public anonymously through Crimestoppers.
"While Police always prefer to speak to members of the public directly sometimes people's individual circumstances don't make it possible for them to make contact with us in that way.
"With Crimestoppers those people can still play their part as was the case here. By leaving information with the confidential crime reporting line when phoning 0800 555 111, the independence of Crimestoppers protects their identity while ensuring the agencies that need the information get it."
Mr Kernohan said the public had made their feelings quite clear on how they felt about the risks associated with synthetic cannabinoids and also what they expected the agencies tasked with policing them to do about businesses and individuals breaching the act.
"In light of Thursday's success I would once again encourage people who have any concerns to contact the Police, Ministry of Health or Crimestoppers, your call will be treated in confidence."