As drug crime soars, here's what Kingaroy cops are doing
DRUG offences are at an all time high in Kingaroy with an up to two week waiting lists to get in to a drug diversion program.
First time offenders are now being sent to sessions in Nanango as the Kingaroy sessions are full.
In the 2015-16 financial year Kingaroy had 313 drug offences, followed by 616 in the following two years.
In the past two years Kingaroy has had 1540 drug offences.
Dangerous drug supply charges have also sky rocketed from 12 in 2017 and 2018 to 231 in 2019.
Kingaroy senior sergeant Dave Tierney said over the past two years they have had a number of big drug operations targeting certain people.
"This is the highest number of people we have had going through these programs and as a result they have had to set up another drug diversion program in Nanango," Sen Sgt Tierney said.
"Figures are far higher then previous years, which I would put down to better police work and information from the public.
"The drug diversion programs are the best shot to try and rehabilitate people and it really comes down to whether or not they want to take the program on board."
Police in the region have been taking a holistic approach towards dealing with crime by having more informal and formal meetings with police from various stations as well as the different community organisations in the region.
By working closely with community organisations such as South Burnett Care and CTC, police are trying to get people the help they need before they enter the court system.
While police have been focusing their attention to fighting the drug problem in the region, Sen Sgt Tierney said the lack of resources available to help people also contributes to the drug statistics.
"A lot of organisations out here have been pushing hard for more mental health resources and due to the lack of support services a lot of people turn to drugs," he said.
"We focus on working with various organisations in the community to keep people out of the courts, we work with child services, parole and probation, CTC and South Burnett Care to try and get people the help they need.
"Most of these organisations rely on government money and grants and that is why we had to open another drug diversion program in Nanango because they were run off their feet in Kingaroy.
"By sharing intel between the different officers in charge at all of the stations in the South Burnett we are able to make more arrests and that is certainly one reason drug offences are up."