FIGURES from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has revealed the extent of the amphetamine problem facing Coffs/Clarence Police District, with possession and/or use of amphetamine charges increasing 27.5 per cent over the past two years in the region.
From April 2015 to March 2016 there were 147 amphetamine related incidents in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton statistical area. By April 2019 to March 2020 that number has increased to 213, at a rate of 150.8 incidents per 100,000 people.
The two-year trend of amphetamine incidents has seen an annual increase of 27.5 per cent, the second largest in rural NSW behind the Riverina region which recorded a 40.5 per cent increase amphetamine incidents in the same time period.
Over the past five years, the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region has seen a 9.7 per cent annual increase in amphetamine incidents.
In comparison, the Richmond-Tweed region to the north recorded 124.7 amphetamine incidents per 100,000 people from April 2019 to March 2020, with 270 incidents in April 2015 to March 2016 rising to 313 from April 2019 to March 2020.
In the 12 months to December 2019, both Coffs Harbour-Grafton and Richmond-Tweed statistical areas recorded more incidents of possession or use of amphetamines than neighbouring regions New England and North West and the Mid North Coast.
According to BOCSAR, meth/amphetamines comes in many forms including powder/pills (speed), crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth or ice) and a sticky paste (base). Ice is usually the most pure form, followed by base then speed.