Jannene Matteson (left), of Funfruits, and Gabrielle Drage discuss the police force's strategy to halt the illegal drug trade in the town.
Jannene Matteson (left), of Funfruits, and Gabrielle Drage discuss the police force's strategy to halt the illegal drug trade in the town. The Northern Star

Nimbin cops clamp down on illicit drug trade

WHILE there has been vocal opposition to police raids on Nimbin businesses, the only criticism of police in the village yesterday came from a woman angry they were not doing more.

"I am leaving town because I've had enough," the woman yelled during a press conference with officers outside the police station.

"I am over this 70-metre strip (the main street).

"I'm a bit disappointed and I am sick of your excuses."

The region's top cop, Superintendent Bruce Lyons, had come to Nimbin to walk the main street and tell businesses they had nothing to fear from police – provided they were not involved in the illicit drug trade.

Police shut down Nimbin's Hemp Bar last month under laws that allow them to close premises suspected of being involved in the supply of drugs.

The Nimbin Museum was issued with an eviction notice and will close by the end of the month.

Supt Lyons warned police would not tolerate drug dealing at Nimbin.

"If businesses in Nimbin want to trade in drugs, police will do what they can to shut down their drug trade," he said.

Supt Lyons said there had been some misunderstanding about police operations and the aim of the walk was to explain to the business community exactly what police were doing.

"I need to reassure the community they have our full support. I look forward to their support to get rid of drug dealing," he said.

Supt Lyons said police wanted to make Nimbin a safer place.

The police had worked hard to build relationships with the Nimbin community and to embrace the town's unique character, he said.

"We have been able to get workers on the street through the health department and police officers are playing sport in local Nimbin teams," Supt Lyons said.

"We are engaged at the school where we have taken students away on camps."

Supt Lyons said police were also liaising with the local Nimbin paper, Nimbin Good Times, and village radio station NIM-FM. And their efforts were working, he said.

Supt Lyons said police would look at all avenues to reduce drug supply and would target people buying the drugs.

"We need to get the message out that Nimbin is not the place to come to buy drugs," he said.

Supt Lyons, accompanied by police officers based at Nimbin Police Station, visited four shops at the southern end of the village.

Police gave business operators at Funfruits and Vegdibles, Nimbin NRMA, Nimbin Butchers and the Aquarius Bakery a letter outlining their efforts to build community partnerships in the town.

Supt Lyons said: "I am not afraid to walk the streets of Nimbin."


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