A planned crackdown on drug abuse in Hindley Street and other entertainment precincts has been hindered by the inaction of Police Minister Holloway.
Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas said that Minister Holloway had confirmed that he would not be introducing a critical new drug law into Parliament until later this year.
The drug law is required to allow drug sniffer dogs to do the job for which they have been trained.
Three specially trained drug detection dogs, Molly, Jay and Hooch, and their handlers are part of the Dog Operations Unit and were specially trained during June to September of last year.
“The Labradors are passive alert detection dogs (PADD) and are trained to detect cannabis, cocaine, heroine, amphetamines and ecstasy.
“It was intended that they could be used in open areas, such as Hindley Street, to monitor nightclubs and hotels where police suspect drug activity,” Mr. Lucas said.
These Labradors operate in the same manner as Customs dogs at airports – sitting when there is detection – and in addition to entertainment venues were to be used on public transport and at sporting venues.
“Mr Holloway was warned last year that legislation needed to be introduced urgently to give police additional powers to detect drugs in entertainment precincts such as Hindley Street.
“This now means that the earliest date for the passing of the new laws will be in June this year – a delay of nine months!
“It is disgraceful that through laziness, incompetence, or both, Mr. Holloway has not heeded the clear warnings he was given.
“Put simply, a highly trained team of three officers and three dogs will spend at least nine months filling in time by doing other jobs instead of helping to crack down on drug use in places like Hindley Street,” he said.