NZ Herald 26 September 2018
Family First Comment: “Drugs were a huge part of policing in Northland because it was a major driver of crime, whether cannabis or methamphetamine. Meth in particular is seen as a scourge because of what it does to people and how quickly it becomes harmful, and the social issues and crimes associated with it. Meth is being driven by the gangs who control its manufacture and distribution.”
Northland is still the cannabis capital of New Zealand, according to a police report on a drug seek-and-destroy operation held earlier this year.
The Annual Cannabis Operation report shows that Operation Jess, which took place in Northland from mid-January to mid-March, destroyed 16,307 cannabis plants — more plants than found in any other New Zealand Police 2018 national drug eradication programme.
While there is a ledger of figures and values that can be applied to Operation Jess’s findings, there are hidden costs associated with drug use, supply and related crime that can’t be counted.
Those include the social, health and education costs of the impact of drug crime on innocent bystanders like children and other family members, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Pilmer said.
”During Operation Jess there were five concerns reported that led to referrals to Oranga Tamariki (child welfare services),” Pilmer said.
”You can’t put a figure on the personal or long-term social costs.”
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