Local anti-drug campaign gets national nod

The success of the Moe ‘Dob in a Dealer’ campaign could be linked to the announcement of a national hotline to tackle ice.

On Sunday Prime Minister Tony Abbott set aside $1 million for a hotline encouraging the public to anonymously ‘dob in’ drug dealers to address the proliferation of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice.

Although the link to the Latrobe Valley is not officially confirmed, the announcement followed Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent speaking to the success ofthe ‘Dob in a Dealer’ program in Parliament in May.

“The Dob in a Dealer program was such a success in the Latrobe Valley through Crime Stoppers in Victoria that it was adopted by the Federal Government,” Mr Broadbent said in a statement.

Moe businesses sponsored advertising space on the back of a Latrobe Valley Bus Line bus to spruik the message and Crime Stoppers hotline.

Police later received a 263 per cent call spike in community information in suspected drug activity across the Latrobe Valley, ranging from ice manufacturers to the distribution of the drug.

Moe police Senior Sergeant Cameron Blair said community members flagged the idea to get the anti-drug message on a bus following an ice forum attended by 700 people in June last year.

He said the success of the program could be attributed to Moe people showing initiative with local police about targeting drug dealers.

Snr Sgt Blair said ice was a significant driver for crime, impacting the volume of family violence, burglary and thefts.

“Community-minded people came forward and decided as a group to keep the pedal down and look at other ways to enlighten the community about the ice problem,” he said.In Parliament, Mr Broadbent gave credit to the businesses, Senior Sergeant Peter Fusinato, Snr Sgt Blair, Latrobe Valley Police Inspector Dean Thomas and the head of the national ice task force and former local, Ken Lay.