Gladstone police busted 11 drug labs last year in crackdown

HOME meth labs are a ticking time bomb, police said, as it was revealed officers busted 11 drug-making dens in Gladstone last year.

The figures came to light in a special APN investigation, as a former Gold Coast detective-turned-university criminologist labelled Queensland the production capital for methamphetamine.

Up to 80% of meth labs were found in private residences.

However, police said the increase in clandestine lab busts was due to an increased effort to stamp out illicit drugs.

Queensland police statistics revealed 11 clandestine drug laboratories were found in Gladstone last year.

There were 71 labs investigated during the same period across the central region.

Bond University criminologist Dr Terry Goldsworthy was quoted in a major Brisbane media outlet as saying the latest Australian Crime Commission Illicit Drug Report Queensland showed an 81% increase in clandestine labs in Australia.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey believed the figures did not necessarily correlate with an increase in the number of drug labs in operation but rather meant the crackdown on illicit drugs was reaping rewards.

More concerning to police was the number of meth labs - 75-80% of all labs - in residential settings, according to a police spokesperson.

With methylamphetamine labs constituting 95% of all labs uncovered by Queensland police, the spokesperson warned the danger of a chemical disaster was real.

Flammable substances, including acetone, methylated spirits, hydrochloric and sulphuric acids and caustic bases, are found at most methylamphetamine labs.

Fast Facts

  • 11 clandestine labs busted in Gladstone last year
  • 75-80% of all labs found in residential areas
  • 95% of labs were used to produce methylamphetamine

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