FIRST ON 7: A 7News investigation has revealed some surprises about Sydney's drug abuse hot spots.
The once notorious Kings Cross has largely cleaned up its act. And while the southwest does have a problem, it is much worse in the city's east.
One park in Liverpool seems pleasant enough, nestled in the shadows of a major Sydney hospital, and perhaps that is just as well.
The manicured lawns and gardens do nothing to tell the real horror story of the drug dealing and abuse that goes down every day - and it is just 300 metres from Liverpool Police Station.
"People don't care if it's even open like this, just as long as they get what they want," one local said.
"Even being close to the police station not even them, are out here protecting this area," another local said.
The customers of the drug dealers here are young. They buy amphetamines with all the casual ease of ordering a hamburger.
The latest crime statistics on drugs show that outside Sydney Olympic Park, where police target huge visiting crowds, Liverpool is the new drugs capital of Sydney's west, way ahead of Penrith, Parramatta, Bankstown Campbelltown and Cabramatta.
But the figures show the drug problem is twice as bad in the eastern suburbs.
Potts Point and the city shared almost 2500 offences between them, ahead of Surry Hills, Moore Park, Redfern Haymarket and Randwick.
These figures really do shatter perceptions about Sydney's drug trade and where it is happening.
In suburban Bankstown there were 319 charges for dealing and possession.
At Bondi Junction in the heart of Sydney's so-called "ritzy" eastern suburbs there were 342 charges for the same offences.
None of this surprises Pastor Graham Long from the Wayside Chapel.
"Sooner or later we have to face that the drug problems and drug use doesn’t belong to an underclass," Reverend Graham Long said.
Sydney City and the eastern beaches were also at the top of the cocaine dealing table.
The western suburb of Airds near Mt Druitt was the worst for heroin and amphetamine trafficking, while the Central Coast had the highest number of cannabis dealers.
Once again, clichés were exposed with cosmopolitan Cabramatta and Kings Cross nowhere near living up to their infamous reputations.
"The truth of the matter is Kings Cross is one the safest, loveliest places to live in Sydney – [it is] a beautiful suburb," Reverend Graham Long said.
He is hoping the figures will pressure politicians into fighting drug crime where funding is needed most, and not according to what he calls popular mythology.