POLICE have warned the 2017 crackdown on drugs in the Oxley region will only intensify next year, after some of the biggest operations in the command’s history.
Secret stings by police, including several undercover operations by detectives, saw dozens of arrests in the the Tamworth and Gunnedah areas in 2017, and also record amounts of drug seizures or traffickers intercepted.
Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd praised his team of police, from detectives, to the Target Action Group team, as well as general duties officers who he said had made significant inroads into the drug network operating in the region.
“We’ve had a number of very intensive and lengthy strike forces such as Delaney, Kotsa, Orison and Burril and they are just the strike forces, there have been many investigations which have removed these insidious drugs from the streets,” he said.
“This is not about targeting users, this is about targeting suppliers, we’re identifying users but we’re going after the dealers.”
Acting Superintendent Budd said “some of the investigations to catch crooks takes an enormous amount of work” but the community had a part to play.
“We have seen on social media, particularly with these high-profile investigations and arrests, the community say ‘it’s about time’ or they have ‘known about the supply of drugs’, well where were those people earlier in the investigation,” he said.
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“People can’t complain about drug problems in the town and not be prepared to give us the information they have. “We need the community to be our eyes and ears and report this drug activity, and there are endless mechanisms of ways to provide information to our officers, and it can be anonymous.
“While ever there is a market these people will continue to peddle drugs and crime in our communities.”
While many of the cases remain before the court, Acting Superintendent Budd said there was more to come, but the community need to back police.
But some people in these towns need to look at their social conscious about what they see or hear, and they need to weigh up whether they’re going to continue to let that happen.Oxley Acting Superintendent Jeff Budd
“We know the damage alcohol causes, and cannabis and ice, and steroid abuse, and ecstasy, and the rage and aggression that comes with this, and that has an impact on people,” he said.
“But some people in these towns need to look at their social conscious about what they see or hear, and they need to weigh up whether they’re going to continue to let that happen, which we know leads to further crimes like property crime, or are they going to speak up, and provide the information to police, that could ultimately be the missing piece of the puzzle we need in an investigation.”