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Police make 'huge dent' in flow of illicit drugs into Deniliquin

Deniliquin Police Local Area Commander Craig Jackson believes Strikeforce Kaneruka has made a huge dent into stopping the flow of illicit drugs into Deniliquin.

TYLA HARRINGTON April 1, 2014 4:30am

There is still work to be done on stopping the flow of illicit drugs into Deniliquin, but Deniliquin Police Local Area Commander Craig Jackson (pictured) says police have made a huge dent in the crime.

Superintendent Jackson, whose last day at the Deniliquin command is this Friday, said Strikeforce Kaneruka was a shock to the system for the relatively low-crime community of Deniliquin.

The strikeforce was established to target the use and supply of drugs, particularly amphetamines, in Deniliquin.

Supt Jackson said more than 20 people have been arrested as part of the strikeforce, which is ongoing, since it was put into action in April 2013.

Supt Jackson said Kaneruka, and a similar operation in Moama called Strikeforce Anderton, would be a highlight when he reflects on his time in Deniliquin from his new position as Superintendent of the Hunter Valley command.

‘‘We’ve had very successful operations with certain aspects being adopted by Sydney metropolitan commands,’’ Supt Jackson said.

‘‘(Operation Kaneruka) was an eye opener for the community.

‘‘This (Deniliquin) is one of the best places to raise your kids and live a fulfilling life.

‘‘The last thing a small community like this needs is to have drugs coming into the town and changing the fabric of the community.

‘‘Criminal activity starts to increase such as break and enters and robberies.

‘‘I wouldn’t say Deniliquin has a drug problem ... but we’ve had a very positive impact on it by running Kaneruka, which has also raised awareness in the community.’’

Supt Jackson believes the amount of crimes reported in Deniliquin are ‘‘not huge’’, but credited the local police force for ensuring all reports are ‘‘acted on quickly’’.

While Supt Jackson also said youth crime was ‘‘not a huge problem’’ in Deni, he said a youth centre would ‘‘certainly’’ benefit the town.

‘‘I’ve really enjoyed it here. It’s a fabulous spot and it’s a really good community,’’ he said.

‘‘I really like bush policing and I’ve enjoyed it, and not just in Deniliquin but in Finley, Moama and throughout the area command.

‘‘All the areas are well serviced by police, who are supported by excellent administration staff.

‘‘The people I’ve worked with are some of the best I’ve ever seen and are people who have a vested interest in the community.

‘‘From a community perspective it’s also one of the best places I’ve seen in terms of community support given to the police. I hope that will continue after I leave.’’

Supt Jackson spent more than two years at the helm of the Deniliquin Local Area Command.

He said he leaves Deniliquin after this week with ‘‘some regret’’ but expects to return to visit the region.

He said family reasons prompted his decision to move to the Hunter Valley.

‘‘It was an opportunity to go back closer to home (Newcastle) and because of family reasons I decided to take it,’’ he said.

A replacement for Supt Jackson has not been confirmed and it could take up to two months for a new commander to be appointed.

Chief Inspector Michael Tranby will be acting Superintendent for the LAC.

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