‘P’ Discussion Reinforces Need For Public Inquiry

NZPA | Fri September 26th, 2003

“The discussion which has followed the release of the United Nations figures on methamphetamine, reinforces the need for a public inquiry into the impact of the drug in New Zealand,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

“Educationalists, health professionals, police officers and social workers have aired alarming views on the drug. This drug is clearly impacting on every level of our society and is empowering and enriching the gangs who are supplying it,” said Mr O’Connor.

The Police Association believes there is no forum for a true evaluation of the drug’s impact in New Zealand. "Police prosecute offenders, for methamphetamine related crimes, while other agencies attempt to deal with the problems created by the drug abuse. A lack of hard data on the damage caused makes it difficult to sort out the real extent of the problem,” he said.

“Currently a bout of publicity following a ‘P’ related crime results in commentary from a variety of agencies. The topic has also become heavily politicised. Only an objective, relevant public inquiry will allow decision makers and the public to be well informed on the true threat posed by the drug and to implement a plan to deal with it.”

Mr O’Connor said that given the massive increase in seizure of methamphetamine labs and their product, such an inquiry should be convened as soon as possible.

The Association has written to the Prime Minister requesting such an inquiry.

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