ACT police are calling for help from the public to stop makeshift drug labs being set up in Canberra.

Officers have appealed to the public for any information on suspicious behaviour, toxic smells or brown staining on buildings that could indicate the presence of a clandestine drug lab.

Sergeant Shane Scott says people should report any suspicions quickly, because some operators do not stay in one place for long.

"These things can be portable," he said.

"They aren't big super-labs you might see on such TV shows as Breaking Bad.

"They can be used in things like the boot of a car, motel room, or a rural location which someone can set up, do a cook in eight hours and be gone."

Sergeant Scott says mobile labs, particularly in car boots, can be more dangerous than permanent operations.

"The chemicals themselves in isolation might not be too dangerous, but when they're put together, if the vehicle's involved in an accident or if these chemicals mix together there's obviously a great risk of explosion or chemical exposure," he said.

Sergeant Scott says police get pieces of information all the time, but officers need community help to put it all together.

"People should be looking out for signs such as strong chemical smells which may only remain for a number of hours, strange comings and going, discarded chemical bottles at the location and brown staining on the walls," he said.

Crime Stoppers ACT chairman Bryan Roach says sometimes the community can be complacent about drug crimes.

"They're not willing to pick up the phone, to go online and to report what they know and what Crime Stoppers does is it protects people, it allows them to report anonymously," he said.

"In the ACT we receive between 350 to 500 calls each month.

"[But] in terms of incidents of drugs and illicit drugs, there's probably around about 20 calls a month.

"We need their help because it is the public who have knowledge about what illicit drugs exist in our community."

 

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