Drug addiction is having a profound and widespread effect on our community.
Every day police in our region are involved in apprehending those who commit crimes, often because they are under the influence of drugs.
Once the damage is done and those affected by drugs are addicted, it is difficult to undo the damage that addiction has on individuals, their families, friends and the entire community. Those negative effects, including violence, paranoia and depression have been well documented in the media, including The News.
Which is why Shepparton police want to stop the impact of drugs at the source.
Together with Crime Stoppers, police yesterday launched the Dob in a Dealer campaign, back for a second year in Shepparton.
Police are keen to target dealers rather than the users. Shepparton police Inspector Haydn Downes says it’s time to get their numbers under control.
Everyone in the community has a role to play as part of the campaign. If you see movements of people at all hours of the day and night and suspect drugs may be involved then you should contact Crime Stoppers.
The drug ice continues to have a major impact on our regional communities, with a strong correlation between use of the drug and crime of all kinds, but its influence also extends to road trauma and violence.
Last year Dob in a Dealer was rolled out in 15 towns across regional Victoria, contributing to a 168 per cent increase in the number of drug-related intelligence reports made to Crime Stoppers.
Shepparton is one of 17 locations across the state where Dob in a Dealer will be rolled out. The program also extends to 75 locations nationally.
A focus for Crime Stoppers Victoria is identifying the manufacturers and distributors of methylamphetamine and other illicit drugs — rather than targeting the users.
There is also an awareness that some of those who may seek to report crime may have an addiction to drugs themselves and Crime Stoppers has made a commitment to referring those who need assistance to health care agencies where they can get help.