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Hawkins told 18 months ago

Hawkins told 18 months ago

The Police asked the Minister, George Hawkins, to push for urgent reclassification of methamphetamine 18 months ago, citing at least six murders associated with the sale or use of this dangerous drug, says National's Police spokesman Tony Ryall.

“It is only now that the Government has finally acted.

“Mr Hawkins was formally advised by the Police in July last year that ”the rise and manufacture of methamphetamine will continue to rise” and that the drug ”has brought with it increasing incidents of serious assault, homicide and the use of firearms”.

“The Police also warned of the tragic consequences of the drug when they stated “Police have investigated at least 6 homicides where the distribution or use of meth has had a direct link to the crime”.

“Further in their July 2001 report, the Police warned the Minister about the considerable social cost of methamphetamine use. In 2001, 41 clandestine labs were located; this year suggestions are that over 130 labs will be found.

“This is a serious matter. If criminals are using this drug, they will commit other crimes, usually violent. Look at the example of William Duane Bell.

“The Government's reclassification comes too late for those people killed or bashed by methamphetamine users. Only strong leadership determined to crack down on this dangerous drug will see New Zealand beat meth and the drug dealing gangs.

“Mr Hawkins’ slack performance to date gives us no confidence that leadership is there,” says Mr Ryall.

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