ICE FOCUS: Police plea for community help

Moe police have called for community help to crack down on the widespread use of ice in the Latrobe Valley.

Crystal methamphetamine and its damaging effects have alarmed Moe Police to the point they want the community to play a role in the fight against ice.

Senior Sergeant Cameron Blair said police had organised several guest speakers to inform the community of the growing problem at a forum at Lowanna College Auditorium from 6.30pm to 9pm on Monday.

“We decided as a group, we’d like to bring some keynote people together to assist us in highlighting to the broader community the issues surrounding the drug and enlighten them as to where we are at, what we want to do and how we want to go,” Snr Sgt Blair said.

“In essence it is to really involve the community in dealing with the issue, which is a community-based issue.

“It’s not just the police, it’s not just the hospitals, it’s not just the court system; it’s everybody working together to try and combat it and extinguish it.”

People will hear from senior Gippsland magistrate Clive Alsop, Dr John O’Donoghue and Victoria Police Clandestine Drug Lab Squad members as well as personal stories from those affected by the drug.

Snr Sgt Blair hopes each speaker can provide different information to give people a comprehensive view of ice’s dangers, signs of use and where to go for help.

He said from a police perspective, the resulting increase in crimes was a competing demand on police resources.

“People are committing crimes to feed the habit. Theft from motor car, burglary – we’ve seen a spike in them.

“We’ve seen an increase in family violence matters, where the contributing factor has been ice.

“You’ve got people under the influence of drugs being involved with incidents within licensed premises.”

Snr Sgt Blair said ice use had become a problem Victoria-wide. It affected the whole community, with no single demographic of users or impacted people.

“There’s a vast number of our community that have been touched by it in one way or another, so whether it be a family member a friend, whether they’ve been a victim of a crime where the offender has been drug affected,” he said

Snr Sgt Blair hopes the community will support the police, understanding that by arming themselves with information, they can be part of a solution.

“We can’t achieve what we need to achieve unless the public help us, and we can help them.

“If we work together – all agencies and all members of the community work together – we should be able to make some inroads.”

To book in your attendance at the forum phone Moe Police Station on 5128 1100 and leave your name and telephone number.