TODAY |

P is a 'growing addiction' in New Zealand, top cop says as new figures show increasing problem

A police superintendent says methamphetamine, better known as P, is a common and popular choice of drug in New Zealand - and it's getting worse.

New figures received by 1 NEWS show that a massive spike in criminal activity correlates with the increase in the popularity of the drug.

Police Detective Superintendent Tim Anderson acknowledged the scale of the problem.

"It's a growing addiction it's a drug of choice for New Zealand at the moment," he said.

The official records tracking P crime began in 2003, there was a rise in charges in 2009 and then a decrease and a record rate of offending last year.

In 2004 there were 363 charges for possession or use of methamphetamine, that number nearly tripled last year.

The number of people charged for the same offences doubled in the same time period and there was also a huge jump in the number of people convicted for meth offences.

Police Minister Paula Bennett is standing by the direction being taken.

"Police have got a better intelligence behind the scenes who they're targeting and yes they are catching them and taking it really seriously," she said.

The government hopes a $15 million boost for anti-drug initiatives including addiction and the 'P' Pull Campaign say without more of that, the war on P is lost.

The police figures fly in the face of government claims that we're winning that war. Source: 1 NEWS