SA Crimestoppers launched a campaign today to "stop the hurt" and target people involved in illicit drug trade.

The hurt caused by drugs needs to be stopped. Photo: Supplied.
The hurt caused by drugs needs to be stopped. Photo: Supplied.

‘Make the Call’ is the catch cry for the campaign launched by Crimestoppers today, encouraging people to “take back control” by anonymously providing information on illicit drug trade.

The ‘Make the Call. Cut the Supply. Stop the Hurt’ campaign aims to hold dealers operating in illict drug trade accountable for the “crisis they continue to cause” and will target street-level dealers and dark net drug vendors.

Crime Stoppers SA chair Sharon Hanlon said drug dealers are often hiding in plain sight within a regional community like the Murraylands.

“Some people find it easier to turn a blind eye and not speak out for fear of retaliation,” she said.

“Regional communities are close-knit, which means that people tend to know who is selling drugs to their family, friends and colleagues.

“They might feel powerless when it comes to doing something about it or think it’s up to someone else, but let’s not kid ourselves about the damage that drug dealers continue to cause.

“We’re suggesting people need to step up and make the call...on whether they are going to put up with this...on whether they are going to make a contribution to putting an end to the hurt in the communities.

“Sitting back and watching dealers and online vendors destroy the lives of the people you care about should not be an option. We need people to make a difference by contacting Crime Stoppers.”

Anonymity is protected

Ms Hanlon said Crime stoppers offers a safe and secure means for the community without the fear of retribution and that information is “filtered” before given to police.

“The information that comes in to us is sanitised and any identifying data is stripped out of that before it is passed across to police and acted upon.

Supt James Blandford said police will act on anonymous information that is provided to them.

“We need as much information as possible...every little piece of information helps and gives us an opportunity to act,” he said.

“Murray Bridge is just a pin prick on the map of Australia, this is an Australian problem, and the police and GP’s, the courts or the prison can’t single-handedly fix this problem.

“This is where we need the community to actually stand up and go ‘this is not what we consider to be a normal part of Australian life.’”

“The social harms that have come out (of illicit drug use) are devastating and we want people to step up and demonstrate their intolerance to drug use and give us information. 

“It’s not acceptable to stand back and allow someone you love to destroy lives.”

Drug related deaths “doubled”

Ms Hanlon said a national study showed that the number of death related to the use of Ice had doubled between 2009 and 2015

“While most deaths of Ice users are likely to be the result of overdose, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre reviewed coronial records of 1,649 meth-related deaths and found overdose was the most common cause of death at 43pc,” she said.

“With methamphetamine use in South Australia tripling in the past four years we need people to step up now more than ever to achieve meaningful reductions in methamphetamine in South Australia.”

If you have any information about criminals or criminal activity, then call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au.

Earlier in the week SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon visited Murray Bridge to demand SA’s next government halve the rate of ice users in the state, suggesting a boost in funding for treatment.