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Over $3m in criminal proceeds to fund anti-P initiatives

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

25 November 2013
Media Statement

Over $3m in criminal proceeds to fund anti-P initiatives

Prime Minister John Key has today announced that over $3 million recovered under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act will be used to fund law enforcement initiatives to break the methamphetamine supply chain and expand alcohol and drug treatment programmes.

“When I launched the Methamphetamine Action Plan in 2009, we made a commitment that money taken from those who profit from drugs would be used to target the drug trade and help those affected by it to get treatment,” says Mr Key.

“We are sending a clear message we are serious about tackling drugs, particularly methamphetamine, and the harm they cause our communities.”

Since the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act came into force in December 2009, the Police have obtained forfeiture orders for assets worth $30.5 million, over half of which are related to methamphetamine offences.

While a good portion of this money goes towards procedural factors, like repaying people and organisations left out of pocket by criminals, legal and administration costs, $7 million has been set aside for anti-P initiatives and that will continue to grow.

Law enforcement and health agencies are able to bid for funding. The successful bids in this initial round are:

$1 million to increase residential accommodation for participants in alcohol and drug treatment programmes. (Health)

$714,000 for the Drug and Alcohol Court pilot to cover prosecution and defence counsel costs. (Justice)

$600,000 to aid with the recovery of legal costs incurred under the Act allowing Police to focus on recovering more criminal proceeds. (Police)

$335,000 to enhance frontline screening at the border. (Customs)

$320,000 to help assess the purity of methamphetamine. (Customs)

$200,000 for a Police training programme to teach drug dogs to detect cash as well as drugs. (Police)

$68,000 for the development of media guidelines for reporting on the use of volatile substances. (Health)

The next funding round will be held next year.

The latest Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan, also released today, shows the number of people using P has continued to decrease but the issue of demand and supply remains a complex one.

“When the Government launched the Methamphetamine Action Plan in 2009, New Zealand had one of the highest rates of P users in the world with 2.2 per cent of the adult population using the drug,’’ says Mr Key.

“We are now down to just under 0.9 per cent, which is great, but there are still over 25,000 P users in New Zealand, which is far too many.”

Mr Key says the latest report shows the price of methamphetamine remains high indicating efforts to reduce supply are having an effect.

Since 2010, the price of a point of methamphetamine has risen from $107 to $109 and the price of a gram from $723 to $757.

However, the drug’s purity levels remain high and the price of precursors (chemicals used to create P) has continued to fall.

“Customs has made more methamphetamine and precursors seizures to date in 2013 than the total seizures in 2012, which is a credit to our law enforcement agencies,’’ says Mr Key.

“By cracking down on precursors, breaking supply chains, providing better routes into treatment, supporting families and communities and strengthening leadership and accountability we are tackling P from all directions.

“I am confident together these measures will help reduce the amount of P on our streets, save lives and make our communities safer,” says Mr Key.

The report is available at: http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/dpmc/publications/methamphetamine


ENDS

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