POLICE have raided two Bendigo properties in an effort to smash the ice epidemic sweeping across the city.
Simultaneous raids were held at Strathdale and Golden Square yesterday, where police found drugs, firearms and other weapons.
One man was arrested at the Strathdale address, where the Central Victorian Response Unit found a quantity of crystal-like substance believed to be ice, a police scanner, taser, sword and scales.
A second man was arrested at the Golden Square address, where police found an unknown quantity of ice and firearms.
Both were being questioned last night.
CVRU Senior-Constable Jaime Coles said the raids were part of “ongoing investigations into the ice epidemic in Bendigo and the trafficking of methamphetamine’’.
“Our office is very concerned about this,’’ she said.
“There is a high volume of people in their early 20s to early 40s who are heavily using ice. They become anti-social as a result and it’s affecting their relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.
“They don’t realise just how bad and how much of a hold it takes on them. It is definitely an epidemic.’’
The raid coincides with the Bendigo Advertiser Break the Ice campaign, which aims to raise awareness about methamphetamine and fight the destructive epidemic.
Senior-Constable Coles said the campaign had helped the Bendigo community become more aware of the symptoms of ice use.
They include weight loss and skipping meals, erratic or aggressive behaviour and changes in appearance, including looking gaunt and undernourished. Users may also have scratches and sores to the face or body caused by scratching during hallucinations.
Anyone with information relating to ice use or trafficking should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.