Dob in a Dealer: How do you spot a drug lab?

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Crime Stoppers NT is pleased to once again be part of the national Dob in a Dealer campaign, which encourages Territorians to identify makers and dealers of illicit drugs and hold them to account for the damage and hurt they continue to cause.

When we rolled out the Dob in a Dealer campaign in 2016 it resulted in a staggering 287% increase in the number of amphetamine-related Information Reports raised for police investigation, while a total of 255 drug-specific Information Reports were raised in a 6-week period directly as a result of people being prompted to speak out.

We know that while drug dealers are often hiding in plain sight within the community, some people may prefer to turn a blind eye and not speak out for fear of retaliation.

Sitting back and watching drug dealers destroy the lives of the people you care about should not be an option – make the call and make a difference by contacting Crime Stoppers.

We offer a safe, trusted link between the community and police. And remember, we don’t need to know who you are, just what you know. Even if you have little more than a suspicion about someone that still might be the piece of the puzzle that can make all the difference – so have the courage to speak up.

Contacting Crime Stoppers with information will disrupt the insidious drug supply chain, so we urge people to call our toll-free 1800 333 000 hotline number or make a report online by visiting the website at    

How do you spot a drug lab?

As the rollout of Dob in a Dealer progresses across the Territory, we thought it might be useful to share with you some information that might help spot a drug lab nearby. Drug labs have been found 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 drugs, there are often a number of signs 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

Rewards are available, and you can remain anonymous.

Your information can make a difference.