Ice arrests rise 270% on Fraser Coast in five years
THE Fraser Coast is taking up dangerous drug ice at an alarming rate with the number of people caught with the substance tripling in just five years.
Just 39 people were charged on the Fraser Coast for possessing ice in 2011, according to figures obtained exclusively by the Chronicle.
That number jumped to a whopping 146 in 2015 - an increase of more than 270% in five years.
Many people were charged more than once, with a total of 249 possession of ice charges laid on the Fraser Coast in 2015.
Hervey Bay Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Mick Polit said the increased presence of ice had been noticed by police.
The stimulant is known to speed up the messages between the brain and body and large amounts can induce psychosis.
"It definitely has an associated link to other crime," Snr Sgt Polit said.
"We have noticed an increase in offences of carrying a firearm."
Snr Sgt Polit said the ice user often targeted their violence towards other users.
"It's a nasty underworld where they owe each other money," he said.
"They feel the need to arm themselves."
Snr Sgt Polit said a part of the reason for the increased prevalence of ice may be due to the cost of the drug.
He said a single hit could be purchased for between $50 and $100.
The drug is having an effect on police officers as well.
"It's the worst thing I have seen in my time," Snr Sgt Polit said.
The detective has been a police officer for the past 15 years.
The increased presence of ice in the Fraser Coast community has filtered through to the court system.
Recently an increased number of defendants are citing an addiction to ice when it comes to their reasons in defence.
In March, a Toogoom man was jailed for six years after he pleaded guilty to horrifically torturing his mother over a five-day period while he was high on ice during the Christmas and New Year period in 2014.
Snr Sgt Mick Polit said recent drug operations, such as one in February this year, had resulted in a decrease in the region's ice trade.
In that operation 2kg of a substance alleged to be ice was seized from a Susan River property.
Possession of ice
Hervey Bay - 18
Maryborough - 14
Howard - 5
Hervey Bay - 68
Maryborough - 62
Howard - 12