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Druggies banned from Footscray

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by pvda, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. Well not quite but anyone caught involved in the illegal drug trade in the City of Maribyrnong who lives outside the municipality will have a court order slapped on them preventing them entering the area.


    Drugs no-go zone
    Mark Buttler

    HEROIN addicts and dealers will be banned from nine Melbourne suburbs in a radical crackdown on the drug trade.

    They will risk jail if they break court orders banning them from drug-plagued Footscray and surrounding suburbs.
    Police plan to round up dealers and addicts who don't live in the area and ask magistrates to ban them from the entire 31 sq km of the City of Maribyrnong.

    It covers Footscray, Braybrook, Yarraville, Maidstone, Tottenham, Seddon, Kingsville, West Footscray and Maribyrnong.

    The scheme, which starts on Saturday, centres on Footscray where residents and businesses have been blighted by the heroin trade and related assaults, robberies and burglaries for 20 years.

    If Project Reduction is a success it could be adopted in other problem areas such as Melbourne City, Richmond and Springvale.

    The Sentencing Act gives magistrates the power to place offenders on good behaviour bonds with special conditions.

    Those sent before courts under Projection Reduction who want to continue to enter the municipality would have to satisfy a strict set of requirements.

    They would need to show they had immediate family in the area, required medical or legal advice, or needed to be there for any purpose or business that could not be conducted elsewhere.

    In a six-month period last year, 60 per cent of the 388 offenders processed at Footscray police station were not from the City of Maribyrnong. Of those, 72 per cent had problems with drugs. The bans will apply to people convicted of drug dealing and possession.
    But offenders including burglars, shoplifters and people with assault convictions would also be eligible for exclusion orders if they were found to be drug addicted.

    Footscray locals are fed-up with dealers and addicts using their streets.

    Constant police attention and a succession of blitzes over many years have failed to break the drug trade.

    Sen-Det Brendan O'Mahoney of Footscray CIU, who developed the scheme, said it was aimed at breaking the networks that the heroin industry thrives on.

    "If you take away the demand, hopefully that will lead to less dealers being in the area," he said.

    He said Footscray was treated as a one-stop-shop where addicts steal and sell their stolen goods then meet dealers and shoot up again.

    Sen-Det O'Mahoney said he could not say if the drug trade would move to other suburbs because no such scheme had operated before.

    He said a dedicated researcher would be assigned to monitor whether crime dropped in Maribyrnong during the six-month trial and whether the exclusion orders had any effect in other areas.

    Regardless, he said Footscray ratepayers and business operators deserved a break from the drug trade.

    "It's pretty clear most of our offences occur to support drug habits," Sen-Det O'Mahoney said.

    He said he hoped the plan would deprive dealers of a market and keep visiting addicts away from the culture generated by being in the company of other users.

    Sen-Sgt Dave Byrt said Footscray was used by heroin addicts because it was close to the city and easy to get to by public transport.
    The bans will apply to people convicted of drug dealing and possession.
    But offenders including burglars, shoplifters and people with assault convictions would also be eligible for exclusion orders if they were found to be drug addicted.

    Me thinks the owners & storekeepers of Highpoint West will love having many of their customers banned from the area.

    I heard the local Mayor interviewed this morning and she didn't even know about the proposal so it's good to see it's been widely discussed with the local community leaders :roll:

    EDIT: to fix my speeling :roll:
  2. What a joke!

    What happens if you're a druggie and you LIVE in the area? Sell your house?

    Do they think the dealers will just go "oh well, it was good while it lasted"? Or perhaps someone needs to inform them that they will just find a new suburb? Look out Williamstown, Deer Park.......

    More dumb ass laws that they cannot police properly!
  3.  Top
  4. man what a crackdown... :LOL:
  5. It sounds like it woudl give the police some powers to do something in theory. Of course we all know if it becomes harder to do it, then it will just move to an ajoining area. Sorta like sweeping the porch, it cleans it up, but the stuff just gets moved and concentrated to the area on the edge. Then of course they will perhaps try the same "banning" idea. As the article states their are provisions for entry under certain circumstances. That is where the loop holes can be exploited I feel. Otherwise if they do force em out, then it will become someone else's problem.


  6. That's a classic quote :shock:

    Where does he think they are going to go?

    I know it's a bit of a radical suggestion, but maybe it would be better to fix the problem instead of moving it around :idea:
  7. I don't know if you guys are just ignorant because you've skimmed the article or wanting to jump on the "bash anything that moves" bandwagon that's seems to be inherent in some people on this forum. What I mean is.....:

    If you're a druggie and you live in the area there'll be provisions.
    To quote:
    "Police plan to round up dealers and addicts who don't live in the area and ask magistrates to ban them from the entire 31 sq km of the City of Maribyrnong. "
    "They would need to show they had immediate family in the area, required medical or legal advice, or needed to be there for any purpose or business that could not be conducted elsewhere. "

    I understand the concern about them trying to find a new suburb. It sucks too, but I guess they want to clean up the Footscray area, or "drug central."

    I remember the first time I was in Footscray with my ex, the very first thing I saw walking into the street from the car park was a drug deal. Not inviting.

    Yes drugs will always be around. But I think what they're trying to do is reduce a "drugs hotspot" where people can get drugs easily, and stop that from effectively growing and affecting businesses.

    It may not be the best of ideas, but I can't see another alternative, unless you have one to suggest? (And it would help if you send it in to the guys looking at alternatives.)

    Yes the owners and storekeepers will love many of their customers banned from the area. Because those people won't as much be customers but drug addicts. Unless you're saying 80% of people that are there are druggies, than I'd say the area is beyond saving. Just nuke it. Yeah, a little bit harsh, but I hope you get my point. Druggies will only aggrevate burglaries and robberies, and that's what worries the stores, their insurance premiums go higher and higher, as well as driving regular (ie not drugged up) customers away, and they make a loss on their business.

    I think it will take a slight profit dip in terms of adjustment. But when it clears there'll be higher profit to make as the people that are there will be "regular" customers, as well as there won't be as much robberies for the stores there.

    However, I do think it sucks if they haven't discussed this with the local council to see what potential effect this can have on business. There needs to be some sort of planning, just in case.

    Guys, I don't mean to sound harsh, it just seems like you guys are saying stuff for the sake of it, maybe I'm wrong there's more involved, but I can't see it from what you've written, and I've taken it from face value. But at least give the courtesy to explain your POV so that people won't just make an ignorant decision or at least think that you're being a pleb.

    Didn't mean no insult, just feeling strong about the issue. :)
  8. Every little thing helps. Although flawed it is worse not to do anything at all.
  9. Yes. I have an idea... decriminalise drugs.

    That will remove the criminal element from the equation.

    Then a harm minimisation approach can be adopted instead of an adversarial one, and both the suburbs and the users would be better off.

    Oh hang on... that's already been sent to the gumbiment and they said 'We can't do that, we might offend the more conservative of our supporters and lose votes' :roll:
  10. So a serious dealer pays a few dollars for an address of convenience in the area. Or uses locals for the local dealing and meets them somewhere else. Or... (hell, I can think of a dozen ways they could get around this before even looking at the legal loopholes) :roll:

    This is the usual half-baked idea that IS worse than doing nothing - it deludes people into thinking that this is a solution and diverts time and resources from real solutions.

    The New York method of zero tolerance of any trivial street offence actually works but that requires some real grass roots policing. Something that's not fashionable in senior police and political circles. (You need more police to do it effectively)

    If you want to stop street crime the only way to do it is to put cops on the street. Bring back the old fashioned cop walking a beat and relating to the local community.

    Ultimately though decriminalisation is the best method - done properly it removes the profits out of the system. Without the profits then there's no incentive for criminals. You may still have a drug problem but most of the crime associated with it is removed. Then you can start addressing the real reasons people use in the first place.

  11. I guess the bottom line is current policing methods are not working. I believe there are many many reasons as to why there is a problem, and it would be an endless discussion to enter into. To fix the problem is a great idea, moving them out is a short term fix, and would like to see some longer term objectives to ensure the problem stays away. I think the short term has strong merit with regards to the socio-economic implications. If there was an answer I am sure it would have been used. I know politics, money etc often get in the way of actually fixing something, but current methods in taht area are clearly not working, so it may be time to try other methods.

  12. SO it moves the problem.

    Doesnt create a solution just pushes the problem into another council's area.

  13. Hmm.. haven't thought of decriminalization.

    It seems a tad bit porgressive to me. I would prefer zero tolerance, but you're right it would be a politically suicidal manuver.

    But we're not talking hash here, we're talking hard drugs... would deciminalization work?
    Has there been any other places in the world where it's worked? Just a thought.

    Maybe we need one of those vigilante groups that works with police.... (or do they? I don't know about this. )
  14. yeh like those safe shooting galleries ( :LOL: ) those proved to be a resounding success :roll: . how does harm minisation help the suburbs? they'll still be robbed.
    After having a number of mates lives completely and utterly f*78cked by drugs (in one case, within 1 month of them experimenting), I'm going to make a wild call and state it is the drugs that are the problem, not the evil governments "drugs are very bad" approach.

    yeh I'm a conservative. decriminalising states that this stuff is ok kids, give it a shot! I'm sure the columbians will thank you for taking the "criminal element' out of the equation. maybe the government should put in a back order to the cartels.

    "Howard announces 4Billion doller trade deal with columbian drug lord, Hails it as a major ethical win for harm minimisation appraoches. Shaking the hand of the drug lord Mendez, number 26 on the UNs war crimes most wanted list, an exhuberant Howard said, " 'by taking the criminals out of this process we can go straight to the source of the drugs, getting a much cheaper deal for all Australians. ' "

    The plan is actually quite devious, you could create a rolling ban, destroy the trade networks in footscray, then they will have to move to another suburb... but where? it seems unlikely the dealers are going to have a meeting and decide on a news area together, so the trade scatters, making it harder to access drugs, if another area becomes a hotspot, scatter that area too (hence the 'rolling ban' effect.)
  15. I couldn't agree more :)
  16. Criminalisation manages to produce massive profits for criminals. Best example was Prohibition in the US which gave organised crime a massive boost and the Yanks (and the rest of the world) are still paying for it.

    The biggest group of morphine addicts for many years was the medical profession. Serious drug problems only arose once criminalisation set in around the 1920s and there was an incentive for suppliers to promote them. Opiates were available for many many years without the problems we have today.

    You keep heavy penalties for those supplying outside the system but make them relatively freely available within the health system. For injectable drugs you make them available in single dose syringes. You would remove a lot of the issues associated with drugs - overdoses acused by variable quality, transmissable diseases caused by sharing needles and commission of crimes to get money to purchase drugs.

    As a new drug comes onto the market and becomes a problem instead of making it illegal you move it onto a schedule that makes it available through the distribution system you've set up. You don't stigamtise the users but you look at a program to take the "glamour" out of drug usage so people won't necessarily get into them in the first place.

    There are a lot of ways to do that. Make the distribution centres unattractive and irritating to use - not enough to make people prefer to buy illegally but enough to make them a little uncomfortable. Have an anti-drug campaign that emphasises dagginess - don't go hard on the damage - just show the users as being generally a bit stupid and daggy.

    Unfortunately while we have the current lot of blinkered fundamentalists advising governments then we're not likely to get anywhere. There's a school of thought that the criminal drug industry puts money into supporting the organisations that lobby to keep a hard-line zero tolerance policy. Certainly it's true that organised crime put money into supporting the pro-temperance lobby in the US which worked to keep prohibition going as long as possible.

    You're not going to stop drug usage overnight but you will make the trade unattractive to crime and hopefully slow down the rate of increased usage. You'll never stop drug usage entirely - people use drugs initially because they enjoy the effects - but you can alleviate the worst of the consequences.

  17. The UN have just released a study on that very question, and their conclusion was that in 'decriminalised' countries, the problem was actually worse. I have not read it myself, just a report in the 'West Australian' about it.
  18. Economically speaking decriminalisation isn't necessarily the best solution. Obviously is removes the excessive profit and regulates the trade, perhaps resulting in the situation TonyE envisages. However this doesn't consider the negative externalities produced by such a system and it's users. In any case it's not going to be happening any time soon in Australia.

    At the same time this plan isn't going to do squat. It's damn near impossible to police and at best moves the problem elsewhere, and otherwise fails to do even that. As mentioned above a greater police presence is probably going to be the only way to minimise this problem. Whether the state government likes it or not if police aren't there in numbers all the legislation in the world isn't going to deter dealers.
  19. That report is generally regarded as coming from the same conservative driven agenda that has driven the zero-tolerance policies.

    The UN's International Narcotics Control Board has issued a report implicitly calling on member states to criminalize opposition to the war on drugs. In other words if you don't agree with a zero-tolerance policy then you are a criminal. :roll:

    If Australia adopted the proposals put forward by the UN, my post above would be illegal. :evil:

    In any case, what their report says (it's useful being married to someone who's currently doing a Masters in Counselling - you can get access to this stuff easily :wink: ) is particularly that total legalisation is bad. They studied 8 countries for that report - Australia, Italy, Pakistan, Colombia (of course), US, UK, Thailand and Sweden. None of these has initiated decriminalisation apart from the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

  20. Druggies are an institution in footscray, it just wouldn't be the same driving through there and not seeing them sprawled out on the side of the road :(