Pubdate: Sun, 01 Jul 2001
Source: Sun-Herald (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 John Fairfax Holdings Ltd
Author: Miranda Wood


Tough new laws will come into force today to crack down on Cabramatta's 
drug and crime problems.

Premier Bob Carr said the $18.8 million Cabramatta Anti-Drug Strategy was a 
committed effort to return the area to people who lived and worked there.

"These new laws mean drug dealers will no longer be able to avoid 
prosecution by disposing of drugs before police can get at them," Mr Carr said.

The police will have the power to:

* Arrest anyone who enters or leaves a suspected drug house - unless they 
can establish a lawful purpose.

* Arrest owners or occupants who knowingly allow premises to be used as 
drug houses.

* Arrest anyone who assists in the operation of a drug house, such as lookouts.

* Move on people they suspect are trying to arrange drug deals.

Mr Carr said a seven-person Department of Community Services Street Team, 
to help reconnect people with their families, would be on Cabramatta's 
streets today.

"The team, based in the Cabramatta Police Station, will also steer homeless 
people towards services that can help them," he said.

New measures designed to channel offenders with drug problems into 
treatment and rehabilitation schemes also start from today.

Mr Carr said $4.4 million had been set aside for additional treatment 
services including extra mental health beds, rehabilitation beds and 
methadone treatment places.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager