– Only hours before, a kitchen is used to make a family dinner. But with the kids fed, bathed and in bed, it now becomes a fully operational, clandestine drug lab.
Everything from the oven, dishwasher, kettle, sink and fridge are used to manufacture amphetamines.
But Victoria Police are now getting tough with proposed new laws for mums and dads who risk the lives of their children with drug labs.
Figures show that Victoria reported the biggest jump in illegal labs detected with 99 discovered between 2011 and 2012 – up from 63 the year before.
Amphetamines are the most common drugs being made, with 71 labs found to be making the drug last year.
Also being made is GHB, homebake heroin and pseudoephedrine extraction.
Pictures obtained by the Herald Sun show drugs being made in filthy garages, sunrooms, sheds and kitchens with the rundown rooms littered with chemicals, drug-making equipment, discarded cigarettes, electric works and dangerous wiring.
Clandestine Laboratory Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Bradley Nichols said it could be time to confront teens and show them where the drugs were made and what they were really putting into their mouth for a cheap thrill.
“This is what I try and tell people, especially the young kids who have been taking drugs at rave parties. If I brought you here and told you that I cooked a Sunday roast in those conditions, would you eat it? No, you wouldn’t. But kids are popping pills because they have an idea that a tablet comes from a chemist. Reality is far from different,” he said.
“You have to get it out of your head that it’s a big pristine lab with Bunsen burners and scientific glassware and a chemist in a white coat and glasses.
“There are some in all of society who think, ‘it won’t affect me, it won’t hurt me, I’m invincible’ and unfortunately that’s not the case.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Nichols revealed police were in talks with the Office of Public Prosecutions and legislators to toughen the law for people who manufacture drugs with children around.
“Even though I have seen quite a few I’m still surprised at the amount of people who are doing this in a suburban street, a lot of them with families,” he said.
“They have kids asleep in the bedroom and they cook in the kitchen at night. They are cooking dinner, feeding the kids, bathing the kids and put the kids to bed and they manufacture drugs in the same house. We are starting to see a fair bit of that.”
International organised crime gangs are running drug labs in Victoria and bikies have been linked to illegal drug labs.
The elaborate drug dens are often secured with CCTV cameras, there are guns and knives on the property and some homes are even booby-trapped, presenting police with more challenges.
The chemicals are so volatile with the amateur set up, that they can blow at any point.
Detective Senior Sergeant Nichols said serviced apartments were an increasingly popular option for drug dens, and people used fake IDs to get the rooms.
“You can have a couple of suitcases for all your equipment,” he said – Aleks Devic


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
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