'Heavy drug presence' in Dysart, police say

POLICE in Dysart are beefing up patrols in an effort to curb rising drug and alcohol-related crime in the area.

The CQ News understands mine workers working long hours on night shift were driving the demand for amphetamines in the central Queensland community. And their supply was being supplemented by out-of-town dealers looking to cash in on a lucrative and untapped Dysart drug trade.

"There's definitely a heavy drug presence in town," a police spokesman said.

"We're mainly coming across the small stuff at the moment but we know they get larger amounts in town."

In the Dysart community newsletter, police warned residents to be vigilant of suspicious occurences.

"Activity can be as simple as an increase in people visiting a place for very short periods of time," the warning said.

"It can be vehicles stopping at a particular place, the occupants getting out and moving around, then leaving when a different vehicle arrives."

The letter also highlighted that "speed" remained the drug of choice in the area.

But despite the warning, not everyone was as convinced about the prosperous drug trade in the region.

Detective Sergeant Jay Notaro from Moranbah CIB said the level of drug crime in Dysart was not unlike any other mining community in country Queensland.

"Like everywhere, there is going to be people who use drugs (in Dysart)," Det Sgt Notaro said.

"But there's no out of control problem there - we've had no large drug seizures."

Heightening concerns for the community was the level of alcohol-related crime also occurring in Dysart.

Police nabbed three drink drivers in town at the weekend "and that was without even trying," one officer said.

He said it was as though Dysart workers and residents took it as "accepted practice" to drive home from the pub after a few drinks.

And it was not just in the car where the alcohol was causing grief, with Dysart police responding to two violent glassing incidents in the past week.

"The risks to the community can be significant," the police spokesman said.

Police hoped new intervention measures, such as a free courtesy bus, might help alleviate some of the problems that police faced concerning alcohol in town.

What do you think?

Are drugs becoming more prevalent in central Queensland mining communities? Email news@cqnews.com.au ,SMS the editor 0467 068 948 or leave your comment below.

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