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Sunday, 17 March 2019
Police will get tough new powers to search the homes and vehicles of convicted drug dealers, under a pilot program to be introduced by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today that the introduction of Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will help the NSW Police Force smash organised crime gangs who prey on young people, in particular, and profit from the large-scale supply of illegal drugs in NSW.
Following consultation with the NSW Police Force, the pilot program will operate across four police commands – Bankstown Police Area Command, Coffs-Clarence Police District, Hunter Valley Police District, and Orana Mid-Western Police District.
“Community safety is the highest priority of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, and I want convicted drug dealers to know that they will have nowhere to hide if they want to prey on, and profit from, the people of NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“These new powers will assist our brave police men and women, including the 1500 additional police that a Liberals & Nationals Government will deliver over the next four years – the single biggest increase to the Force in more than three decades.” 
“We have also established a powerful Special Commission of Inquiry into ice and related drugs because we want every option on the table to bolster our existing efforts to combat the evolving threat of dangerous illegal drugs – and to get help for those who need it.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro has praised the efforts of National party candidate for Dubbo Dugald Saunders for his relentless campaign to introduce these new powers. 
“Drug addiction and ice have become a major issue in parts of regional NSW, and police need every measure available to combat them.”
“Too often, police know who is responsible for dealing these drugs but don’t always have the capacity to shut them down – these new powers will help overcome that,” Mr Barilaro said. 
A court issued Drug Supply Prohibition Order will give police the power to search the homes, vehicles and person of convicted drug dealers at any time without a warrant, if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that there is evidence of drug-related crime. 
An order will ensure that police are able to specifically target convicted drug dealers who are considered likely to continue to engage in drug supply, without having to apply for multiple court warrants, helping to ensure that convicted drug dealers are held to account if they continue to engage in drug-related crime. 
Minister for Police Troy Grant said this was another example of the Liberals & Nationals Government taking strong action to protect our communities from the scourge of drugs.  
“As a former police officer, I’ve seen the harsh reality of illegal drugs in our communities, and I’m confident that these orders will help our police take the fight to drug dealers, and show them that we will not tolerate having this filth on our streets,” Mr Grant said.
“At the same time, we’re boosting police resources to enforce these powers and crack down on organised crime gangs, which includes more Region Enforcement Squads as well as specialist police for Raptor Units.” 
Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will initially operate as a two-year pilot program, after which the results will be assessed to inform the future operation of the new powers. Orders made will remain in force for the duration of the pilot program and will allow police to search a person or their property for prohibited drugs, drug pre-cursors, drug paraphernalia or equipment for drug manufacture, or other evidence of drug supply or manufacture. 
An application for an order may be made in relation to any person convicted of a serious drug offence, such as supply or manufacture of an indictable quantity, in the past ten years. Consistent with the exercise of any police power, Drug Supply Prohibition Orders will be subject to oversight by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.