Nimbin protests police presence
A SILENT majority wanting Nimbin cleaned up of hard drug dealing should become more vocal, Richmond Police Command Superintendent Bluey Lyons said today.
Supt Lyons said despite a 200-strong protest rally against a strong police presence in the town that included drug dog operations, there was a large number of supporters in favour of ridding the town of drug dealing.
The rally, organised by the Hemp Embassy, was protesting against ‘heavy-handed policing’ with regular sniffer dog raids and foot patrols by police wearing bullet-proof vests and Taser guns.
Embassy president Michael Balderstone said he believed the police presence was driving tourists away from the iconic hippy town leaving many businesses struggling.
But Supt Lyons said Nimbin was not being policed any differently to other centres across the Richmond command.
"Drug dog operations are held in Ballina, Lismore, Casino, Lennox Head and Alstonville," Supt Lyons said.
"And I can say that despite the protest, I am of the view that there is overwhelming support for police to rid drug dealing in Nimbin."
Supt Lyons said the common view that only cannabis was being distributed in Nimbin was wrong.
""Harder drugs are being distributed from Nimbin and in the past we have arrested people responsible for large amounts of powdered drugs," he said.
"We will continue to target those people responsible for drug dealing whether they are in Nimbin or elsewhere."