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Hop To It, Hawkins

Hop To It, Hawkins

Friday 18 Jul 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Crime & Justice

ACT New Zealand Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded to know why the Government still has not taken effective action to combat drug crime in New Zealand, despite constant reports that the epidemic of drugs - particularly methamphetamines - is reaching crisis levels.

"Reports today, that the number of people seeking help for addiction to meth - with a Wellington clinic treating six new patients every week - highlight the fact that this problem is skyrocketing," Dr Newman said.

"The reports also say that many of these addicts are `high-flying young professionals'. Methamphetamines are not isolated to any particular strata of society. It crosses all boundaries - from the Wellington professionals, to Northland schoolchildren.

"The Government has dragged its feet on this issue - with huge delays in re-classifying it as a Class-A drug, allocating it with a specific crime code, and establishing police teams dedicated to its investigation.

"Police have warned that they are not able to keep up with the problem. The manufacture of methamphetamines increased 300 percent last year, and - according to today's report - there are warehouses full of the drug, just waiting to hit the streets.

"I am calling on Police Minister George Hawkins to give police the mandate and the resources to take a zero tolerance approach to drug crime - which includes beginning funding for the police methamphetamine response teams immediately, rather than in 2004. The Government must take action to stop this problem reaching crisis level," Dr Newman said.


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