Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cabramatta ran on bent cops

The SMH today tells of the resurrection of Sydney's Cabramatta from junkie hellhole to normal suburb. Prohibitionists often use it to illustrate the success of a Get Tough on Drugs policy. But those in the know say the crackdown just displaced the problems to other suburbs. Now it appears the bad old days spawned police corruption, that inevitable twin of prohibition. From the Herald story: 

"Now, the suburb is like any other, Mr Lalic says. The drug problem has instead spread up and down the railway line to nearby suburbs he says.

"The former assistant police commissioner Clive Small - who in his new book Smack Express writes that police corruption contributed to the drug problem in Cabramatta - says that determined police action and the heroin drought contributed to cleaning it up.

"Cocaine and methamphetamines are the drugs of choice now, he says, but they are sold away from the public eye. Even though they are a bigger problem than heroin ever was there is insufficient public awareness, Mr Small says."

PS (21/02/09)  The Australian has published a lengthy report on Smack Express by its co-author, Tom Gilling. While revealing the pervasive power of organised crime in Australia, and recognising the sheer scale of the money and corruption involved, it ends with a whimper: 

If we as a country don’t stand up now against organised crime, the battle will be lost, and it will be our own fault.

Not a word about how prohibition provides the fertile fields for our modern-day Al Capones and their $multi-billion business. The article remains safely within a trite 'cops vs robbers' framework. I'll be reading the book in the hope it goes further.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah Ed I thought this blog was for actually commenting rather than linking junk from other publications.

I don't visit this blog to read the mainstream newspapers.