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Police, ministry join forces to fight P

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/10/2016

"The impact of methamphetamine in our communities is large" © Phil Walter/Getty Images "The impact of methamphetamine in our communities is large" Drug dealers and users will both be the focus of a pilot police and Ministry of Health programme to tackle methamphetamine in Northland after Prime Minister John Key announced new funding.

The $3 million programme is part of almost $15m pledged by Mr Key on Monday and is intended to stop supply and reduce demand for the drug.

"The impact of methamphetamine in our communities is large and we will do what (we) can to take out any supply network and reduce that impact," Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.

Police will work with the Ministry of Health to identify users on the receiving end of the drug chain so they can be offered support.

"As we know, illicit drugs can cause significant harm, not only for the person using it, but for their family, friends and wider community, and it is also a driver of other crimes including burglary and assaults," Mr Bush said.

Further funding has also been set aside to identify and stop precursors and illicit drugs coming from South China, where New Zealand police currently have liaison officers supported by local staff reporting on current and emerging drug trends.

Police will also receive funding to boost their Asset Recovery Unit which seizes cash and assets deemed to be the proceeds of crime.

Those proceeds are being used to fund the Prime Minister's 15 newly announced methamphetamine tackling programmes.

Health treatment initiatives make up the majority of those projects.

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