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National Strategy Needed To Combat 'Speed'

25 April 2002

National's Police spokesman, Tony Ryall, is calling for a national strategy to prevent methamphetamine use spiralling out of control in this country.

"Police are losing the battle against methamphetamine, or 'speed'. Most believe the increasing availability and use of the addictive drug is a major factor in the rise in violent crime in many areas," says Mr Ryall.

"While a lot of lip service is paid by the Minister and others at top level to drug abuse, it appears some are completely out of touch with the lethal problem of methamphetamine use.

"The latest Police Association newsletter (April 2002) talks of a member of the Police Policy Unit addressing Australian and New Zealand drug investigators at an Illicit Substances conference, telling them that 'they should only be concerned with alcohol and tobacco - being the greater killers.'

"The fact that these are legal substances, and that he ignored the urgings of frontline police on the problem of drugs like 'speed' is appalling. What police need is more support in their fight, not this sort of ignorance.

"New Zealand is headed for another record year of methamphetamine lab-busts. When the Government finally wakes up to the scale of this epidemic and realises a national strategy is needed to stamp it out, then we might see more police resources targeting the problem," says Mr Ryall.


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