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Richmond drugs scourge: Police respond to claims of anti-injecting rooms agenda

Police have refuted claims yesterday’s drug raids in North Richmond were part of a campaign to have the safe-injecting room shut down.

But they have detailed a startling increase in drug-related arrests in the Richmond area.

Six people, including two social workers linked to the safe-injecting rooms, have been charged as part of raids in the area.

Proponents of the facility say the police invited the media there to put further pressure on authorities.

But Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius says camera crews were there because of an unrelated aggravated burglary, first reported on 3AW, which happened to coincide with the raids.

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“What occurred yesterday morning was a very busy morning in Richmond,” he told Neil Mitchell.

He went on to say “yesterday isn’t a once-off” in illustrating a constant and escalating

He revealed drug arrests have increased by 152% in the Richmond area the past year.

“I’m hear to say to you … we absolutely hear what the community has to say about the adverse affects of drug trade on the community,” he said.

“Your police are absolutely focused on holding drug traffickers and users to account.”

Advocates say one the reasons the centre needs to remain in Richmond is to combat high drug use in the area.

“Well, it’s not doing its job … Luke Cornelius just told us arrests are up,” Neil Mitchell said.

“I think the place has to move.”

(Image: Getty)