Gympie’s huge lockdown drug spike leads to multiple arrests
THE Gympie region has recorded its highest number of drug crimes to start a year since the turn of the century, including a prolonged spike coinciding with the pandemic lockdown.
Queensland police data reveals 390 offences were recorded in the region from January-May, the highest total since the start of 2018.
More than 90 per cent of these crimes were recorded in the first four months of the year.
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A large drop in May (only 28 drug crimes recorded) prevented the figure from obliterating the previous record.
The highest number of crimes were reported in February, with 101 offences; another 93 were reported in March and 82 more in April.
And although offences have spiked in March in previous years (131 in 2018, 114 in 2019) this year’s figures did not drop sharply in April.
The biggest driver was in the recorded number of drug sales or supplying, including 30 reported crimes in February and 29 in April.
It is the first time two spikes (of 20 offences or more in a month) have appeared in the same year, the data shows.
Marijuana was the most commonly seized drug by police during this time.
A total of 3.57kg of marijuana was confiscated by police from December 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020.
This accounted for more than 90 per cent of the total weight in drugs taken by police.
Amphetamines and methylamphetamines were the next choice, with 298g seized.
Ecstasy (21g), cocaine (2.2g) and other drugs (not including steroids, pharmaceuticals and benzodiazepines) rounded out the five most common substances.