ARRESTS for cannabis possession in Bathurst outnumber amphetamines charges by almost three-to-one, new figures show.
Latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found there had been 112 recorded incidents of using or possessing cannabis in Bathurst in the 12 months to March, compared to 42 incidents of people caught in possession of amphetamines, including ice.
But possession arrests in Bathurst for both drugs were significantly lower than the figures recorded for both Orange and Dubbo.
The latest BOCSAR figures found there had been 132 recorded incidents of using or possessing cannabis recorded in Orange in the 12-month period to March this year, while in Dubbo the figure was a whopping 179.
On the amphetamines front Dubbo police reported 71 incidents, while in Orange there were 72.
Police Minister Troy Grant said the statistics relating to drug possession remained a concern, however, he said the NSW government’s targeted plan to stamp out drug and support affected communities was working.
“Evidently crime trends vary throughout NSW, and thanks to the re-engineering of the NSW Police Force, police districts and area commands now have greater agility and flexibility to proactively target and disrupt specific crime types,” Mr Grant said.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said police would continue to target organised crime networks responsible for the distribution of illicit substances through regular drug operations, including the use of drug dogs.
“Our focus is community safety and we won’t tolerate behaviour that risks the wellbeing of others,” Commissioner Fuller said.
As part of the re-engineering process, the NSW Police announced several specialist units including five new Regional Enforcement Squads.
The RES units are comprised of specially-trained police tasked to disrupt drug supply and target gun crime, as part NSW Police Force’s commitment to providing specialist resources to regional areas.
Cocaine-related arrests also saw a significant jump across the state, with the number of arrests for possession rising by a staggering 46 per cent.