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Buying A Fomer 'P' House Can Prove Costly Clean Up -- Bill Can Run Into Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Buying A Fomer 'P' House Can Prove Costly Clean Up -- Bill Can Run Into Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars

2 September 2008 - Just like a leaky home, a house that has been used to manufacture methamphetamine (P) can cost tens of thousands of dollars to clean or repair before it is safe to be inhabited again.

``A house used as a P lab becomes contaminated with methamphetamine residues, which can potentially cause serious health effects to unsuspecting new occupants,'' says Nick Mcleay, Director, NZ Drug Detection Agency Ltd (NZDDA).

``It's something current homeowners who are renting out their properties need to be aware of and also those looking to buy, especially at the moment when there are plenty of cheap deals on the market.''

To counteract this problem and to rid houses of P associated residue NZDDA now offers a new service to test for drug residue. Its Meth Detection (MD) Series of Products and Services is designed to identify properties that have been used to smoke or manufacture P (methamphetamine).

These services are aimed at home buyers, landlords and property managers to help protect them from purchasing or letting a contaminated property and to also deter tenants from using the properties for manufacturing P.

``We can test the property before tenants move in to ensure its safe and then as a deterrent to tenants using the house to manufacture P we can test while they are living in it as part of the landlord's property inspection,'' Mcleay says.

A retired Detective Sergeant, Mcleay heads up the MD Series and is new to the NZDDA management team. Mcleay was the officer in charge of the Police National Clandestine Laboratory Response Team (Auckland) since 2004, and prior to this he spent 4 years on the Auckland Organised Crime Squad where he was involved with major operations investigating the manufacture and supply of Methamphetamine in New Zealand.

For the last four years Mcleay has also been giving expert evidence in relation to Methamphetamine, Pseudoephedrine and Clandestine Drug Laboratories at both District and High Court level throughout New Zealand, and was considered the leading authority on Clandestine Drug Laboratories and Methamphetamine in the NZ Police.

Mcleay says that during his time investigating this type of offending it was clear that police were just scratching the surface with respect to finding clandestine drug laboratories with 70% of the labs being found while Police were carrying out other enquiries.

``The criminals operating these labs were very mobile and moving around regularly to avoid detection. But in doing so were leaving contaminated properties to be purchased or rented out to unsuspecting families and landlords,'' Mcleay says.

Mcleay says that he sees his new role as a great opportunity and the MD Series as an exciting new range of services that will give families and landlords peace of mind when purchasing or renting properties.

NZDDA Services: Pre-Purchase Testing. To identify if the property has been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine, Pre-Occupancy Testing. To establish that a property is free of detectable levels of methamphetamine residues before a tenant moves in. Property Inspection Testing. Follow up to the pre-occupancy testing to deter the tenant from using or manufacturing the drug and to identify those that haven't been deterred from this type of activity. Customised Tests. To suit a clients requests or needs. Awareness Seminars on Clan Labs and Methamphetamine and other drugs. Charges for these services start at $250. The Products NZDDA use for these services have been developed by the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) for use by health and safety professionals, industrial hygienists and law enforcement personnel so they can identify if there are methamphetamine residue on surfaces quickly and accurately without having to wait for lab results.

NZDDA has 10 offices around New Zealand. For their locations and further information access or call 0508 Drug Test (3784 8378).

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