POLICE say public information is the key to controlling drug-related crime after arresting a Colac man with more than $100,000 worth of drugs and cash.
Melbourne-based Drug Task Force investigators and Colac Criminal Investigation Unit detectives arrested the 49-year-old at Geelong.
A Victorian Police Media spokeswoman said officers stopped the man’s vehicle on Plantation Road, Corio.
She said police found and seized “a large quantity of cannabis, a mixture of other illicit drugs and a large amount of cash”.
Police wouldn’t speculate whether the drugs were destined for Colac’s streets.
The spokeswoman said police arrested the man at the scene and charged him with nine drug-related offences including trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs and possessing property suspected to be the proceeds of crime.
Police remanded the man in custody to appear at Geelong Magistrate’s Court next month.
Colac CIU Detective Chris Potter was involved in the arrest on Friday night and he said it was a significant breakthrough.
“It was a long night and it was a good result,” he said.
Det Potter urged Colac and district residents to speak up if they suspected or knew about illicit drug activity or related crimes.
“I’d like to encourage members of the community with information about drug activity to contact police or Crime Stoppers,” he said.
Det Potter said public assistance was crucial for police to determine the extent of illicit drugs in the community and controlling drug-related crimes.
“It’s hard to tell because it’s an ‘allegedly victimless’ crime,” Det Potter said.
“We do know there are drugs out there but police don’t have a crystal ball and we are relying on the community to feed us some information or point us in the right direction,” he said.
Colac Area Health alcohol and drug services co-ordinator Chris Kendall said Colac’s drug problem was “fairly stable” compared with a year ago, despite a “small increase” in Colac people seeking help.
But Mr Kendall said the drug ice had increased in presence and popularity among young people in Colac.
“Ice is a highly addictive drug,” he said.
“Drugs in Australia cost the community billions of dollars and one of the things that always plays a part are crimes that support people’s habits,” Mr Kendall said.
“We have a fairly good rate of engagement with people and while they are trying to do something about their situation, they aren’t necessarily the people going out committing crimes or dealing.
“We would welcome anybody seeking assistance and we would provide the best possible support for them to manage or give up their addiction.”