In this episode, we talk about inconsistent and confusing policing in Victoria of the COVID-19 restrictions, and the pandemic's effects on drug markets and the flow-on effect to those who access these markets.
Maestro of Vice - Researcher and consultant
People who use illicit drugs, whether they are dependent or use them occasionally, are potentially at increased risk of harm during the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus is too new to know the exact interaction with illicit drugs. There has been no peer reviewed research yet, and we don’t know how many people who have contracted the virus also use drugs.
However, we can estimate some of the possible impacts from what we know generally about drugs, their effects on the body, and how people use them, including in times of increased stress.
Regardless of your views on illicit drugs, reducing the harms from drug use during the pandemic will improve the well-being of people who use them, and those close to them. Reducing harms will also help avoid additional pressure on the health system.
Volunteers lawyers from Melbourne Activist Legal Support
Now in its second week of operation, the Covid Policing website has had and additional 32 reports concerning police interactions. Victoria had by far the highest number of reports at 25 (15 for inner and greater Melbourne and 10 for regional Victoria), New South Wales (4), Queensland (1) and Western Australia (2).
A majority of people reported that they had a negative experience of their interactions with police, describing their interactions as: aggressive, interrogatory, intimidating, harassing, rude, very rude, unpleasant, nasty, forceful, not friendly, frightening.
Backing music from Tongberang'i Ngarrga Inc