‘War on ice’ in our streets: Police’s brutal assessment of Orange’s drug problem

TACKLING THE ISSUE: Orange police's Bruce Grassick and Roundabout Central West's Paul Cox. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0827cficeforum1

TACKLING THE ISSUE: Orange police's Bruce Grassick and Roundabout Central West's Paul Cox. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0827cficeforum1

Orange’s problem with the drug ice is at least as big as in any other regional Australian city, according to Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick.

As the Central West Police District crime manager, Det Insp Grassick is in a unique position to see the devastation methamphetamines have caused in the city.

“You’d be turning a blind eye if you didn’t think it was prevalent,” he said.

“There is certainly a war on ice.”

Pointing to last week’s sting operation which resulted in the arrest of two men and a woman in Orange and the discovery of half a kilogram of drugs with a street value of $250,000, Det Insp Grassick said locking up drug dealers is not enough to beat the problem.

It has implications not only for user but it can devastate families, it can tear people apart.

Central West Police District crime manager Detective Inspector Bruce Grassick

“We can’t arrest our way out of this situation,” he said.

Det Insp Grassick said to put an end to what he calls the “drug of choice for a lot of drug users”, a multi-faceted approach is necessary, and educating the community on its effects is key.

“It’s readily available and cheap to produce,” he said.

“It has implications not only for user but it can devastate families, it can tear people apart.”

In conjunction with Roundabout Central West, Det Insp Grassick will speak to more than 1000 students from Orange High School, James Sheahan Catholic High School, Molong Central School, Canobolas Rural Technology High School and Orange Anglican Grammar School.

Over three sessions – one on Monday, two on Tuesday – students will hear from the police, health services and Headspace, as well as member for Orange Philip Donato and recovered addict Jackson Oppy.

A user for 15 years, Mr Oppy will travel from Melbourne where he now manages a rehabilitation clinic.

Det Insp Grassick said that by hearing firsthand what happens when ice takes hold, young people would be deterred from dabbling in a drug he says is quite possibly being produced in Orange.

“While the demand exists, people will continue to supply it,” he said.

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