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Think cars not just bars to bug P-biz

Think cars not just bars to bug P-biz
Candor Trust

Nationals Judith Collins told attendees at the Chemical Diversion Congress they plan to ban known P dealers from being eligible for electronic bail or home detention sentences, but cottage industry dealers are easily replaced, say Candor Trust. The options for reinforcements are almost as numerous as the total user number, due to a mix of fear of ranking criminals and the severity of dependency oft associated with methamphetamine use. Until frequent user demand is reduced by treatment availability supply will be perennial.

National won't get far enough by noisily targeting street level dealers that Police are able to identify in Suburbia, say Candor. If it is serious about supply reduction then it needs to go a level up by taking reasonable steps to disable distribution networks, which long past sprung wheels.

A cellphone call is enough to redirect a load to alternate outlets, and when home shops close deals can just as easily occur from parked vehicles Mr Whippy" style. The freedom of known hands on dealers via home detention is but a minor part of the problem, when distributors continue to have full and unchallenged access to Tranzit roads.

Police papers well document that the supply chain is established through organised crime having long tentacles in the NZ trucking industry. Lower Hutt police station staff recently turned away an employer who tried to report a P addict truck driver. They said there was nothing that Police could do.

Closing labs or thwarting manufacturers in one hotspot is likely to result in the adoption of better criminal business practice; a rationalisation of lab numbers and a move up to factory size operations in the long range.

The existence of an established road freight network, as tipped by NZ Police papers, is supported by testimony of some truckers via media about their P driving daze, trucker P driving deaths as reported in Coronial findings and by murders committed by trucker dealers, in disturbed states on P.

It is frequently entered to the public record that Police chases, crashes and erratic driving arrests involved untouchables who were smoking P, as they drove. And the ADAM study by Police has found that many arrestees for general and driving crime partake.

Local Police have been grotesquely powerless under current legal frameworks to prosecute involved parties for impaired driving. In 2002 a teacher who drove dangerously while carrying meth in her car injured someone, and was the following year regranted her yearly practising certificate.

A Wellington taxi driver who hurt or killed a motorcyclist within days of his employer reporting him for not sleeping and methamphetamine use, faced no appropriate charge, resulting in Land Transport NZ refusing to cancel his taxi license.

Police received a complaint about the manner in which the appellant was driving and stopped the appellant in his vehicle at Paekakariki. A passive breath test was administered which the appellant passed, and as he denied using drugs Police couldn't test him and had to let him go.

They followed him however, as his driving continued erratic and pulled him over again. A search turned up possesion of a glass pipe of a type used for the consuming methamphetamine, a syringe, and fifteen point bags containing 1.5 grams of P. No driving related charges were bought, so this P fan on wheels continues business as usual.

All too often these slippery cases progress on to homicide, if not just the seemingly more maligned offence of dealing. On one of the Wellington areas most dangerous roads (SH2 - Hutt Valley) there have been multiple fatality crashes involving P, and Politicians were thwarted getting to work some time ago, by an at risk P user blocking the Terrace tunnel.

Collins further told the National Chemical Diversion Congress that while P addicts may resort to crime such as theft of your television, National would set out to strip the dealers of their assets.

It should not be thinking about large screen TVs or houses, so much as giving consideration to opportunities for confiscation of cars and big rigs. On occasions that these constitute labs, weapons against the sobre road using public and identifiable disease vectors (by large-scale transport of methamphetamine product).

The fast and modern way to hook in to the problem is not to risk undercover operatives by having them surveill houses of potentially dangerous suspects at night Elliot Ness style. But involves aggressively drug testing correct age band car and regular distance drivers at nice safe well lit checkpoints. Given the South Island market is classed as fledgling, the Ferry terminal would also be a great pick up point for P traders.

Lets get on with removing easy utility of the tools of the trade, by thinking broadly and beyond scare tactics exerted on homeowners. Beyond and perhaps before houses there are vehicles, licences and free highway passes to smuggle the product into different rohe, that can perhaps more gainfully be targeted.

The spread of this hard drug disease can be deterred and contained, by instituting the correct format for checkpoints of full drug screens. National must fast forward the drug driving bill "Land Transport Amendment Bill Number 4", and remove from the road those who should not be on it, precisely because they are "on it", whilst impaired.

A dangerous subsection of such currently law-immune" drivers are doubtless presuming use rights of taxpayer provided highways, for the bulk transportation of the P Poison. Drivers affected by P or other hard drugs could provide very good clues for drug dogs - surely employable beyond the ports. Make policy smart, relevant to harm reduction and multifacted for societies complex needs, if that's not too tall an order please National.


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