Crime Stoppers tips prevent more than 283,000 drug deals from hitting SA streets
Posted on 29/07/2021
An estimated 281,520 cannabis street deals and 1,971 amphetamine street deals have been stopped from hitting South Australian streets already this year thanks to tips shared with Crime Stoppers SA from people concerned about illicit drug dealing in the community.
The spike in the number of cannabis street deals seized by police, after receiving leads from Crime Stoppers thanks to tips from the public shared with the organisation, is more than double the amount of dried cannabis seized for the same 6-month period last year.
Crime Stoppers SA (CSSA) Chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon, said the ongoing impact of border closures because of COVID-19 outbreaks has impacted the market for methamphetamine and other drug types, resulting in a significant spike in the price of illicit drugs in response to declining availability and quantity.
“Even though COVID-19 border restrictions have impacted the supply of meth, wastewater drug-monitoring results undertaken by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) show that SA stills continues to top the nation when it comes to per capita use in capital city and regional testing,” Ms Hanlon said.
“As drug users find it difficult to source heroin and methamphetamine, they appear to be turning to cannabis and other drug options which are more readily available and not reliant on international or cross-border transport routes. In response, drug dealers are looking for options to fill that demand gap, and the spike in the number of cannabis street deals seized already this year thanks to Crime Stoppers tips certainly reinforces that theory,” she said.
“The demand for cannabis is further strengthened by lockdowns and other restrictions because people have more time to use drugs. Others may opt to use drugs to help them deal with the stress of living through the pandemic.”
Cannabis was first included in the ACIC Wastewater testing program in 2018 and consumption rates across Australia have steadily increased since then, particularly in regional parts of South Australia.
“Drug dealers don’t care about the harm they cause to users or families. For them it is all about the profit. We know that organised crime groups are out to make money through whatever illegal means they can and profit from the importation, manufacture, trafficking and sale of all types of drugs,” Ms Hanlon said.
Other half year results released by Crime Stoppers SA show that while the number of tips for murders and firearms is down compared to the same period last year, tips about unsolved robberies, offences against the person and arson are all higher.
Amongst an array of weapons confiscated by police during the period, 24 firearms have also been seized thanks to Crime Stoppers tips, and two clandestine drug labs located and closed.
“Our half year results show that South Australians want to live in a safe community. When they know or suspect something about an unsolved crime or suspicious activity they have the courage time and again to share what they know with Crime Stoppers without needing to say who they are or get involved,” she said.
Further year-to-date results are shown below: