There are at least 12 murders committed or tried by courts within the last 24 months wherein crystal methamphetamine was utilized by the killer in the crime.
Police have warned about the widespread use of the drug as creating a new level of violence in the area and has been said to be part of the problem in pushing unstable individuals into violent crimes.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer, of the Victoria Police intelligence and covert support section stated that “This is our new heroin,” when discussing the drug and its effect on the population.
Fryer stated that it was clear there had been a rise in the number of meth-related activities that involved homicide. Meanwhile, the Victoria police figures have shown that within the past financial year, there were over 3,200 amphetamine-related crimes that involved assault. There were another nearly 4,000 burglaries relating to the drug’s use.
Meth is the most popular form of the compound. Coroners Court found that 34 deaths in 2012 and up to 14 in 2010 were related to the drug. A prominent magistrate recently spoke on the fears of the drug taking over the community.
Magistrate Clive Allsop stated to a court that in some areas of Victoria, the use and effect of the drug was reaching epidemic proportions. His largest concern was its possible effect on children and young adults. He noted the number of arrests involving the drug within the past two years had grown, while deaths were up 150% in that same period.
“The message I’d like to get out is don’t have a bar of it. It appears to be more addictive than any substance we’ve seen before and it’s having disastrous consequences,” said Allsop.
Fryer noted that amphetamine use from 1970 to 1990 was an average low of 4%, but now the drug is growing in use, and thus the violent crimes are growing as well.
“We used to do high-fives if we seized a kilo (of ice). We have got div vans seizing a kilo (nowadays),” Mr Fryer said.
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