Drugs cause 40 per cent of local police work
Toodyay police chief Sgt Dave Flaherty with bags of seized drugs, a drug pipe and scales.
ABOUT 40 per cent of all police work in Toodyay is linked to illegal drug use.
Toodyay is a really safe place to live but we have an undercurrent of drug use that creates a constant problem.
Every week without fail, we find out about stuff going on that involves illegal drugs.
The flow-on from illegal drug use is that it causes other crime, such as stealing and assaults.Read more
This is particularly the case with methamphetamines when users become addicted and constantly need more money to feed their habit.
As with elsewhere in WA, our community includes people who use methamphetamines.
A lot of society’s domestic violence issues are also linked to drugs as it alters people’s thought processes.
Toodyay police use street tip-offs, calls to Crime Stoppers WA (1800 333 000) and roadside random breath tests to detect illegal drugs.
Drugs are also discovered by chance during police inquiries into other matters, including when using search warrants.
Police may go to a house on another matter and see a drug pipe which then leads them to start asking questions.
In a recent case, police went to a house on a Julimar bush block to speak to the occupant about another matter and discovered 20 mature cannabis plants and 24g of dried cannabis.
We pulled up the plants but it was too much to fit into an ordinary police car.
A 4WD vehicle had to be used to take the plants to Perth to be burnt in an incinerator.
It’s my view that there is more drug use now than in the 1960s when many people first started smoking cannabis and taking LSD.
There is also now a lot more drug law enforcement than ever but in many cases it is not working effectively.
While illegal drug use is an offence, I’m not convinced constantly arresting people is the answer.
We have to do more with education and rehabilitation to get people off and away from drugs.
It’s not uncommon to come across people who use cannabis to treat chronic pain or depression.
But having or using illegal drugs is still an offence and our job as police is to uphold the law, without fear or favour.
We are always on the look-out to receive any information from the community about illegal drugs and we will always follow it up and charge the offenders if needed.
Truck blitz working
WE ARE seeing positive signs that our heavy-haulage road blitz is making big inroads into the previously high number of unroadworthy trucks being driven on local roads.
There has been a noticeable change in the standard of the trucks and they are now more roadworthy, and their drivers are behaving better.
Drivers and truck companies have learnt that we’re not going away, and random checks will continue.
That makes local roads safer for everyone and we intend to ensure it stays that way with continued patrols on major bulk transport highways such as Toodyay Road.
Where are your kids?
WE URGE parents to know where their children are and what they are doing during the current two-week school holiday break.
While most kids are generally well-behaved, we will see an increase in minor damage offences in our parks and other public places during school holidays.
Parents please ensure your kids know the difference between right and wrong and know what they are up to when out on their own.
WE’RE now in the celebration season with last month’s footy grand finals and Toodyay Picnic Races, and the Toodyay Agricultural Show on Saturday October 12 and Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
If you intend to go out and enjoy a few celebratory drinks for these events, please organise a skipper to drive you home.
Don’t drink and try to drive home afterwards because local police will be on the roads conducting random breath tests.
The aim is not to spoil anyone’s fun but to help make the place stay safe for everyone and to ensure everyone gets home safely.
Plan ahead, organise a skipper and please don’t drink and drive.
Only as a last resort, please
PEOPLE who need certified documents to be signed are asked to please try elsewhere first before coming to the police station.
Every week we get dozens of front counter requests to sign documents.
Some people get upset when they are told by the Customer Service Officer that there are no police officers at the station to sign their documents because they are all out doing law enforcement work.
Certifying a document may be a small task but when multiplied over and over again it consumes a large amount of valuable time and keeps police officers away from other more important law enforcement work.
Police are among 43 different occupations listed by the WA Justice Department list as qualified to sign certified documents for births, deaths and marriages.
Others include pharmacists, priests, Justices of the Peace, shire councillors and CEOs, post office managers, real estate agents, vets, accountants, bank managers, teachers, doctors, dentists, psychologists and chiropractors.
Toodyay has all these choices and we ask people to please try them first before coming to the police station for a signature.