Addictions fuel crime

PROBLEM: Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh from Warrnambool police says drug and alcohol addictions are behind much of the crime committed in the south-west. Picture: Amy Paton

PROBLEM: Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh from Warrnambool police says drug and alcohol addictions are behind much of the crime committed in the south-west. Picture: Amy Paton

A drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation centre would cut the region’s crime rate, a senior police officer says.

Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh from Warrnambool police said criminal activity and drug and alcohol abuse are closely linked.

“The majority of crimes committed are related in some way to drugs and alcohol,” Senior Sergeant Keogh said.

“When people start using something like methamphetamines they end up using up all their savings on buying the drug. They then start selling their belongings and property to support their habit. Once that happen, they start committing crimes to get the money they need.”

If you asked people with addictions then most of them would tell you they would love to break them. - Shane Keogh

Senior Sergeant Keogh, who is also a board member at Western Region Alcohol and Drug centre (WRAD), said the seven-day detox program on offer at South West Healthcare is well used.

He believes many people with alcohol or drug issues are keen to break their addictions.

“If you asked people with addictions then most of them would tell you they would love to break them,” he said.

“Their families are doing all they can to help but to make any impact treatment needs to be one month at the very minimum.

“I really do believe we need a residential rehab centre. I have no doubt that is justified.

“When you include Portland and Hamilton then the numbers really stack up.”

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