Police tour focuses on ice epedemic

Police minister Troy Grant speaking with Mudgee LAC superintendent Anthony Joyce earlier this year.
Police minister Troy Grant speaking with Mudgee LAC superintendent Anthony Joyce earlier this year.

The frightening impact of ice has been rammed home as a major issue of concern during a top brass tour of regional police stations.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and Deputy Premier Troy Grant visited Dubbo, Mudgee, Parkes, Forbes, Temora, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Bowral and Nowra this week in the latest leg of a statewide consultation with front line officers and command teams.

“The tour has been looking at the issues impacting on police and the challenges they are facing,” Mr Grant said on Wednesday.

“At each location discussion has consistently focussed on ice. A drug-driving operation was underway when we visited Wagga on Tuesday. In just a few hours there were 16 detections, which was alarming.

“First-hand information about ice is very important as the commissioner and I consider our response and work with the federal government about the role law enforcement needs to play in addition to what is already being done.

“What we have seen and heard during these visits has given us enormous food for thought.”

Mr Grant said Commissioner Scipione shared his concern about the effect of ice on communities, large and small.

“We can’t simply arrest our way out of the methamphetamine problem,” Mr Grant said.

“A lot of answers are needed and strategies have to be formed for each component. Drug manufacture and supply sit squarely across federal and state jurisdictions in the law enforcement space.

“As Police Minister, that is where a big focus of my effort needs to go. As the Member for Dubbo, I need to consider all aspects including medical treatment and the obvious need for improved rehabilitation facilities.”

Mr Grant said the police station tour had previously taken place at Gunnedah and Tamworth. In coming weeks more towns would be visited.

“Ultimately the whole state will be covered as we look at crime, issues of concern, resources, infrastructure and capital works,” he said.

“It is helpful to engage with police and obtain contemporary information. We need to know what police are experiencing and what communities are saying to them.”