Ararat not immune to effects of Ice

ARARAT - In the lead up to a forum being held in Ararat addressing the issue of the use of the drug 'Ice', Ararat Police have urged members of the community to come forward with information to assist with stamping out the problem.

Crime prevention officer Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald said all members of the public have the right to live in a safe community, to be safe in their homes, work places or during sporting and leisure activities.

"Each one of us has a responsibility to ensure that our communities are safe," he said.

"One of the roles of police is to prevent, detect and apprehend persons who commit crimes. Our communities are the 'eyes and ears' of effective policing. We are very fortunate in our local policing areas that community members do provide relevant information to police, it is analysed and where appropriate is enacted upon. Snippets of information are not undervalued, they may form part of a bigger picture of a crime that police are investigating."

LSC MacDonald said regional Victoria is not exempt from illicit drug use, including 'Ice'.

"There has been much recent discussion regarding Ice in our communities. While incidents related to alcohol consumption cause us much concern, we are very much aware of the developing trend regarding the supply, trafficking and use of Ice," he said.

"Police are working tirelessly to investigate the manufacture, supply, trafficking and use of the drug but we need assistance from our communities. Not every recreational Ice user will come to the attention of police but for those that do, it is more than likely they have become regular users.

"Dealing with an Ice affected person presents enormous strain on emergency service workers, but there is another side, families and loved ones of the user also suffer. For the user and their families it may seem like a hopeless situation, but there are things you can do."

LSC MacDonald said specific information is available at www.meth.org.au

He said a clandestine lab is the term used where illicit drugs are manufactured and while it was important to keep a look out for suspicious behaviour it was important to not enter a clan lab as highly volatile substances are usually present.

Stay well clear and immediately contact police.

A community information forum on Ice in the community will be held in Ararat on June 4. Police, in close partnership with local health service providers, will be presenting at the forum.

"The reduction of illicit drug use in our communities requires a 'whole of community' response, your information may not only help your situation but also others who are going through the same issues," LSC MacDonald said.

"I encourage you to disclose this information to police, this can be done anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or by attending a police station."

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