The Andrews Labor Government is stepping up its fight against drug traffickers, with new police drug intelligence to stop trafficking and reduce the devastating scourge of addiction.
The $4.7 million investment will ensure Victoria Police can continue to expand the specialist Forensic Drug Intelligence Capability Program to better target manufacturers and dealers, using intelligence to track down and close clandestine drug labs.
The funding from the Victorian Budget 2019/20 will help police:
- Broaden the capability to target the drug supply by determining any nexus between seizures
- Disrupt large national and international drug syndicates by profiling and linking cases
- Reduce and disrupt the supply of all drugs in Victoria by identifying distribution pathways and implementing improved supply reduction strategies
- Ensure a more targeted and proactive approach to drug crime investigation.
The program is a key part of Victoria Police’s drug crime intelligence gathering and is central to the Labor Government’s Ice Action Plan, which is reducing the supply, demand and harm of ice.
The Government has already invested in 24 additional forensic officers and staff for two new forensic hubs in regional Victoria, which opened in Morwell and Ballarat in recent months.
Tougher penalties have also been introduced for those caught trafficking ice and heroin, with the threshold for large commercial and commercial trafficking quantities reduced. This stronger stance against ice and heroin recognises the significant harm these two devastating drugs pose to our community.
The forensic funding boost and legislative reforms are part of the Government’s record $3 billion police investment, which is putting an additional 3,135 new police on the beat, delivering state-of-the-art technology and intelligence, and giving police stronger powers.
These additional police have increased Victoria Police’s ability to target drug supply and as a result has seen a significant increase in drug dealing and trafficking offences.
This increased drug targeting has also seen other associated high harm offending such as crimes against the person and aggravated burglary and robbery drop.
Police also now have new DNA powers to help identify criminals even faster – particularly serious recidivist offenders – and help solve serious and high-volume crime. These new powers allow police to take DNA samples from offenders and adults suspected of indictable crimes without the need for a court order.
As stated by Acting Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“We’re giving Victoria Police the resources and tools they need to keep communities safe, by focusing on drug dealers and organised criminals.”
“Drug dealers and manufacturers – who put lives and communities at risk – face a new policing crackdown, as authorities use new technology and intelligence to track drugs back to their source and get them off the street.”