by Brooke Duncan
POLICE raids have taken quantities of ice, marijuana, MDMA and steroids off the streets of a Darling Downs town as part of an 18-day operation.
Operation Black Mamba, run between October 23 and November 9, resulted in 23 people being charged with 54 offences, including two of unlawful possession of a weapon, after 11 raids around Chinchilla.
During the operation police seized a variety of drugs and drug utensils, including two grams of ice, five vials of steroids, 12 marijuana plants, 76 marijuana seeds, a quantity of marijuana, MDMA, Xanax, and Suboxone strips, 18 drug utensils, and a home-made taser.
Five people wanted on warrants for failing to appear in court on minor drugs charges were offered drug diversion programs.
The remainder are scheduled to appear in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on Thursday, November 23.
Chinchilla Police Station officer-in-charge Andrew Irvine said he admired the work done by police during the operation.
"I'm very impressed by the hard work and dedication of the police here, which is part of our ongoing commitment to addressing the incidences of drugs in town," he said.
According to Queensland Police Service statistics, drug offences in Chinchilla have increased in the past few years.
After a low point in 2012 with only 37 offences listed, numbers rose each year before spiking in 2016 with 401 drug offences listed.
There have been 183 drug offences up until October this year.
This year's statistics show an increase in drug offences in September and October, with 42 and 40 offences, compared to the next highest month, June, with 19 offences.
A Chinchilla police spokesman said it was important for anyone with information about drug use, drug dealing, or suspected drug labs to report it to police.
The spokesman said police needed people to come forward to help address drug use and reporting could be done anonymously.
"If you believe drugs are coming into town, call us with as much information as you can," they said.
Useful information can include where drugs are kept, what kind of drugs they are and if any weapons or firearms are involved.
The spokesman said people could "dob in a druggie" by contacting their local police, or calling Policelink on 13 14 44 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Chinchilla Police Station can be reached on 4672 9666.
Reports can also be made online.