Cops' war on meth has 'no visible impact'

Police have admitted our meth problem is getting worse and everything they've tried to stop it has had "no visible impact".

Documents released to Newshub show that in 2016, police seized more than twice as much meth as any other year.

But it's had no effect on the availability of the drug.

Children have been found at one in three homes used for P deals and even more alarmingly, 25 children were found living at homes where meth was being made in 2015.

Mitch Ingram started smoking meth back in 2000 and for 13 years, he was hooked.

"It's a bit sad using in a house where your kids are in," he said.

Meth took over his life and his wife laid down an ultimatum: the kids, or his addiction.

"I walked out the door," Ingram told Newshub.

"Why? Why the Hell would you do that?"

He lost his house, his job and his family, hitting rock bottom when he was arrested for supply.

He spent 14 months in prison and is still on parole but before he went inside, he went into rehab.

"I'd had enough. I knew something had to change or I was going to die, so I picked up the phone and I looked for help," Ingram said.

But he still knows how easy it is to get your hands on meth.

"I still have contact with addicts that still use there is no trouble getting it. [It's] more accessible than any other drug in New Zealand now."

The amount of meth seized by police more than doubled last year. In 2015 they confiscated 342kg and by September last year, they'd seized 889kg.

But the police themselves admit in the documents released to Newshub that despite them seizing more of the drug, it's had no effect on its availability.

And the price is decreasing, meaning demand is high and the market is well supplied.

"Police just haven't got the resource needed to go hard against this - you know this is at epidemic levels in our community," Ingram said.

But Ingram says police funding isn't the problem.

"I myself would like to see them putting money from the proceeds of crime back into rehabilitation - there's rehabilitation centres where the waiting list is just way too long," he said.

And that's something he'll be looking for when the Government unveils its Budget on Thursday.


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