Wednesday, 18 February 2009 - 12:21pm |
National News

Police release illicit drugs strategy

2 min read

Tackling the harm caused by drug use is the key element of the Police Illicit Drug Strategy released today.

The strategy, released by Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope at the International Drug Policy Symposium: Health Drug Law in Wellington, will guide the police response to drug related enforcement through to 2010. It focuses on methamphetamine, cannabis and how best to protect and deter those groups most at risk of encountering and causing harm from drugs. It aims to reduce supply, reduce demand and to reduce harm.

Deputy Commissioner Pope says it is the first time all the strands of the Police work around illicit drugs have been brought together in one document.

"We now have increased capacity with the new National Intelligence Centre (NIC) based at Police National Headquarters and this is going to enable us to more actively record intelligence around drug related crime from each police area and district," Mr Pope said.

Intelligence about drug use and distribution will be fed from areas to a national level via the NIC.

"This will allow a more coordinated approach to illicit drugs than we have had before - which is essential to combat their manufacture, distribution and use."

The strategy recognises that cannabis and methamphetamine are the biggest drug issues in New Zealand.

"We have a solid foundation of work in progress around these areas and this is the first document which lays out that work.

"The strategy is not an end-point but a foundation on which we will continue to build," Mr Pope said.

"Reducing drug harm cannot be solely the domain of Police. We all need to work in partnership to address the issues that surround our drug problems."

"Long term solutions require partnership with Government agencies, non government organisations and the community.

The demand for illicit drugs will be reduced by working with individuals, communities and non-government organisations to inform the public about the harm that illicit drugs cause.

"Preventing today's young people from becoming tomorrow's drug users contributes to reducing harm and reducing the overall crime rate," Mr Pope said.

The full strategy is available at

For further information contact

Jane Archibald

04 474 9442