2749. Hon Alison Xamon to the minister representing the Minister for Police:
I refer to media reporting in early December 2019 regarding three deaths occurring in Perth on the same day as a result of a suspected ‘bad batch’ of drugs, and I ask:
(a) how many deaths occurring in Perth in November and December 2019 do police suspect to be the result of the bad batch of drugs;
(b) how many suspected overdoses occurring around that time do police suspect to be the result of the same batch of drugs;
(c) has it been determined what type of drug or combination of drugs caused the deaths and overdoses;
(d) if yes to (c), what drug or combination of drugs;
(e) if no to (c), when will this be determined;
(f) did police undertake any harm minimisation activities after becoming aware of these suspected overdoses; and
(g) if yes to (f), what activities;
(h) if no to (f), why not?
Hon Stephen Dawson replied:
The Western Australia Police Force advise:
(a)–(e) On 7 December 2019, three suspected drug overdose deaths were reported in a 24-hour period. At the time these deaths were believed to be linked to a “bad batch” of drugs. However, subsequent Police inquiries and post mortem toxicology results identified different types of illicit drugs were involved (MDMA/heroin). No links to a common source or a specific bad batch of drugs were identified.
(f)–(g) On 7 December 2019, following the three suspected drug overdose deaths, the Western Australia Police Force issued a media release titled ‘Drug Overdose Warning’ warning the community of the dangers associated with illicit drug use. On 9 December 2019, the Commissioner conducted a media conference to communicate warnings as to the dangers of illicit drug use and key harm minimisation messaging. This was followed up with a WA Police Force social media post.
(h) Not applicable.