||Australia : Tough new laws help detect and seize meth
||From today, WA Police will have tough new powers to help disrupt the supply of methamphetamine and other drugs into Western Australia in a significant boost to the Liberal National Government's Meth Strategy.
Deputy Premier and Police Minister Liza Harvey said the new drug transit route laws would make it easier for WA Police to target and detect meth being distributed through the State's regional road network and freight system.
Ms Harvey said under the new laws, a road suspected of being a drug transit route could be declared a search area for a limited time by a senior police officer, allowing police to search any vehicle travelling through it.
"Meth is rarely manufactured in Western Australia since the State Government cracked down on backyard laboratories. However, we believe an amount of meth and other drugs are being transported through WA undetected because WA Police must build a case of reasonable suspicion for every individual vehicle before they can search them," she said.
"The new laws mean police have to have a reasonable suspicion the road network, such as interstate border crossings or roads into remote communities, is being used by drug traffickers."
The Deputy Premier said the legislation also targeted freight and courier distribution facilities.
"A senior officer will be able to authorise the search of a freight or courier distribution facility for a maximum period of 24 hours," she said.
Ms Harvey said the Government had consulted with major freight and courier companies, who strongly supported the legislation.
"The initial searches on vehicles and freight facilities could include officers, drug detection dogs and electronic equipment. If these methods result in a reasonable suspicion drugs are present, further searches, such as opening packaging, could then occur," she said.
"While WA Labor doesn't believe drug dealing is a serious offence, the Liberal National Government does and that's why we have introduced tough legislation and increased police resources to detect and punish them."
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