No drug action team for the Pilbara

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph

Drug action teams will be rolled out across Australia as part of a drive to rid the country of the scourge of methampetamine — but none will be based in the Pilbara.

The Federal Government recently announced 40 teams would be deployed across Australia.

Just three will be funded in WA — Kalgoorlie, Nannup and Bunbury — despite recent figures showing the State has the biggest meth use in Australia, and one of the most entrenched ice addiction problems in the world.

South Hedland Senior Sergeant Dean Snashall said police were keen to have testing methods placed in Hedland to determine the extent of the local meth problem.

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He said there needed to be a government approach to study whether police put more time and effort into prosecution and seizing drugs or focused on counselling and diversion pathways.

“All we can really go by is the number of syringes that go out and the number of charges and the amount of meth that we are seizing,” he said.

“We’re not seizing a lot of meth, unfortunately, because it is such a hard drug to detect.” Sen. Sgt. Snashall said there was a lack of services in town to help people with chronic meth addiction.

“We do have very minimal beds and availability for beds for people who are seeking some counselling in relation to any drug addiction,” he said.

The nationwide Local Drug Action Team program has been funded as part of the response to the 2015 National Ice Taskforce report.

Squads will be formed in every State as figures show a staggering 70 per cent increase of the drug on Australian streets in the past three years, with 293kg of ice seized in WA last year.

Victoria will get 15 of the teams, NSW 11, Queensland six, two each for South Australia and Tasmania and one in Northern Territory.

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