Former Clarence ice dealer all for Dob in a Dealer program
REFORMED methamphetamines dealer and Yamba resident Patrick Smith has put his faith in a new National "Dob in a Dealer" program that he believes will combat the growing ice epidemic.
The Federal Government has announced $1 million in funding to go towards creating the "Dob in a Dealer" hotline to encourage which is modelled off a Crimestoppers Victoria program.
"[The Victorian program] as I understand it in different parts of the state has resulted in a 100 per cent to 400 per cent increase in information coming in about these drug dealers," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
"Whether it's overseas at source, whether it's here on our border, or whether it's in the community, we need to mobilise against drugs.
"There are no excuses for illegal drugs, no excuses."
It is the latest Federal Government plan to tackle what it describes as the "growing scourge" of ice, or crystal methamphetamine, use around the county.
"We're simply talking about giving people more opportunity and encouragement to do the right thing by our community," Mr Abbott said.
"If you see criminal behaviour taking place, or if you suspect that criminal behaviour is taking place, you have a duty to do what you can."
Mr Smith believes the program will have great success because it alleviates the pressures on addicts when they feel they are ready to break their addiction.
"I think it is a good idea, anything that is going to promote people to stop dealing or taking methamphetamines is a great idea," he said.
"People won't talk to the police because they are scared of what their dealer might do to them but maybe this might give them an easier option to do just that."
"That is what happens when people come clean, they dob everyone in because it gives them a chance to cut all ties with the powerful drug.
"There are a lot of people out there who need the help but they don't even realise."
Mr Smith is working closely with Member for Page Kevin Hogan to begin informal meetings between former drug addicts and people who want out of that life.
"Mr Smith and I will be having our first meeting next Monday at the St Stephen's Presbyterian Church Hall," Mr Hogan said.
"These meetings stem from the Yamba Ice Symposium last month. "We want to give these people, whether they are ex-addicts or wanting to become ex-addicts, a support network."