Friday August 30 2013

– A surge in vicious attacks, including killings, linked to the drug ice has alarmed Victoria’s police and judiciary.
In at least 12 murders committed or tried by courts over the past two years, crystal methamphetamine was used by the killer or was otherwise a suspected factor in the crime.
Police on the beat warn the widespread use of the drug is creating a new level of violence and turning unstable people into dangerous criminals.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer, of the Victoria Police Intelligence and Covert Support Section, said: “This is our new heroin.”
Mr Fryer said it was clear there has been an “increase in ice-related activity in relation to homicide”.
Victoria Police figures show that in the past financial year, there were 3218 amphetamine-related assaults and 3990 burglaries.
Ice is the most popular type of amphetamine in Victoria.
A small sample of many disturbing cases of non-fatal violence in the past year linked to ice include:
– A teenager who slashed a family man’s throat in a home burglary. He told police he was ice-affected.
– The bashing of two police officers whose assailant was not stopped until he was hit repeatedly with a torch and capsicum-sprayed twice.
– Two elderly men bashed at a suburban railway station by a mentally ill man on methamphetamine.
The overall level of methamphetamine deaths in Victoria rose by more than 100% in the most recent recorded year.
Coroners Court figures showed there were 34 deaths in 2012, up from 14 in 2010.
A prominent magistrate spoke out this month about his fears of the community damage caused by ice.
Magistrate Clive Allsop told a court that in some parts of Victoria it had reached epidemic proportions and was increasingly available in schools.
He said the number of people arrested for trafficking the drug trebled in the last two years and deaths were up 150% in that period.
“The message I’d like to get out is don’t have a bar of it. It appears to be more addictive than any substance we’ve seen before and it’s having disastrous consequences,” the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times reported Mr Allsop as saying.
Mr Fryer said analysis showed 14% of people who faced court on an amphetamine-related charge would commit a crime of violence in the three months either side of that offence and 42% would be involved in property crime.
He said part of the problem was that ice did not carry the stigma of heroin.
Mr Fryer said amphetamine sold from the 1970s and 1990s was generally between 3% and 5% pure, but ice was between 70% and 90%. “It is now driving, in part, our volume of violent crime,” he said.
Mr Fryer said Victoria Police was running several major taskforces with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Crime Commission and Customs to combat organised crime groups importing ice. “We used to do high-fives if we seized a kilo (of ice). We have hit div vans seizing a kilo (nowadays),” Mr Fryer said.
Rehabilitation counsellor Mick Hall said he had gone from working mostly with heroin addicts 10 years ago to running a practice dominated by people wanting help because of ice.
– Mark Buttler


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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