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How to spot a drug lab

Ice labs have been found right across Australia in factories, backyard sheds, rural properties, apartments, family homes, hotel rooms – even inside caravans and tents in the bush.

But what are the tell-tale signs you should you be looking for?

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to where criminals manufacture Ice, there are often a number of signs of a drug house that you can look out for, and include:

Strange odours

The drug manufacturing process involves mixing, breaking down or changing the structure of precursor substances using other chemicals and heat sources, and this creates unusual odours. In particular, there is often a strong acetone smell produced from Ice labs.

Chemical containers and waste

Clandestine drug laboratories create a lot of toxic waste, and it’s often stored onsite in buckets or dumped nearby. That’s not to mention the chemical storage containers often found discarded in or around lab sites, including a backyard.

Blacked out windows

Drug manufacturers will often cover or black out the windows, either with window coverings or foil, to hide their illicit activity from the neighbours.

Hoses and pipes in strange places

Many drug manufacturers will use household items to make their drugs, including hoses, pipes and containers bought from hardware stores. An excess of these types of items around a property could be a sign of illicit activity taking place.

Vehicles coming and going at odd hours

Criminals don’t work just during business hours. The drug manufacturing process requires regular checking, so it’s not uncommon for those involved in the manufacture of Ice to come and go at all times of the day and night. Unusual vehicle movements could also be a sign of drug supply occurring at a property.

If you suspect that a property is being used to manufacture Ice, you can report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make an online report at crimestoppers.com.au  Rewards are available and you don’t have to say who you are or get further involved.

Your information can make a difference.