Gympie counts highest drug rates on record last month
DRUG offences have reached an all-time high in the Gympie police division, new statistics reveal.
Police statistics reaching back to 2001 show May 2016 saw the highest rates of reported drug crime, with 321 offences per 100,000 people living in the Gympie division.
That's more than double the Queensland rate, which saw 155 offences per 100,000 people in May, and also double the Wide Bay Burnett region rates of 150 offences per 100,000 people.
The Gympie division reported a total of 107 reported drug offences last month.
Of those offences, 45 were related to drug possession, one was related to trafficking drugs, nine were related to selling drugs, three were related to producing drugs and 49 were other drug offences.
Police have recorded 499 drug offences across the Gympie region from January to May 2016, which incorporates the Gympie, Imbil and Tin Can Bay divisions.
Of those, the vast majority occurred in Gympie with 321 offences.
Other hotspots throughout the region include Cooloola Cove with 19 offences, Tin Can Bay with 14 offences, Rainbow Beach with 12 offences and Imbil with nine offences.
The previous three highest months for drug crime since 2001 had also been in the last two years, with 99 offences in June 2014, 91 offences in October 2015 and another 91 offences in May 2014.
Graph: GYMPIE DRUG STATISTICS - Jan 2001 to May 2016
"Other drug offences" has consistently been the most common drug offence category in police records, and includes importing or exporting drugs, obtaining drugs with a fraudulent prescription or possessing drug utensils.
The new statistics are part of an upward trend across Queensland in drug offence rates since 2010, which saw its fourth-highest month on record for drug offences in May.
Gympie police recently uncovered a marijuana crop at a Gympie region waterway after a detailed tip off from a member of the public.
Inspector Stephen Donnelly said when officers couldn't get clear access to the crop by vehicle or on foot they donned "water police" gear and improvised with an inflatable dinghy.
Gympie police were unable to divulge to The Gympie Times the time, place or size of the crop while investigations are continuing.
"The crop was located and seized with investigations continuing into the identity of those growing the dangerous drugs," Inspector Donnelly said.
He said it is a good example of reassuring Gympie people that information given to Crimestoppers will be followed up on.
Anyone with information about dangerous drugs or any other kind of criminal activity in the Gympie community is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, he said.