Crime Stoppers SA is targeting ice dealers in Port Augusta after launching its Make the Call. Cut the Supply. Stop the Hurt campaign together with state government and SA Police.
With a national study revealing that the number of deaths related to ice usage had doubled from 2009 to 2015, Crime Stoppers SA Chairperson Sharon Hanlon said the organisation was looking to get to the source to break the chain.
Ms Hanlon called on members of the community with any information to not turn a blind eye.
“We’re particularly targeting the makers, the dealers and the suppliers of ice … this is not about demonising the user, we’re looking at the supply chain and trying to cut that,” she said.
“We can act or take a report if someone has a strong degree of suspicion. We welcome those bits of information, as quite often there’s already a file sitting there and that can be the last piece of the jigsaw that we’re after to pass the information across to police for them to act on.”
Crime Stoppers is focusing on both street-level dealers and dark net drug vendors, with Australia ranked second in the world behind the Netherlands in online drug dealing.
“We know that online dealing is an area that has just mushroomed in recent years, as have social media channels and there are more and more encrypted phone apps that are being used,” Ms Hanlon said.
Ms Hanlon said community members can make a report over the phone, online or on the Crime Stoppers SA app while maintaining their anonymity.
“Often people will feel powerless, either they don’t know what to do or they’re concerned about retribution or retaliation if they make a call to Crime Stoppers,” she said.
“We do everything within our power when someone has made a report to maintain their anonymity by stripping the IP address out of the report before it’s handed over to the police.”
SA Police Far North Local Service Area Operations Manager Mark Walker-Roberts said he has no doubt that the campaign will help to reduce ice usage in Port Augusta.
“Sometimes Crime Stoppers have pieces of information that can be turned into arrests of quite significant stature, and that includes drug dealing,” he said.
“Ice usage and dealing is on the increase and we need to do everything we can to stop it.”
Crime Stoppers launched its statewide campaign in Adelaide six weeks ago, resulting in the discovery and closure of two drug labs.
If you have any information about ice dealers, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.