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  1. catseye
    Alan Travis, home affairs editor
    The Guardian,
    Monday 30 April 2012

    More than twice as many secret cannabis factories were found in past year as four years ago, chief constables' report reveals

    Clandestine cannabis factories are booming in Britain, with the police detecting more than 7,800 in the past year – more than double the number found four years ago.

    Chief constables say the rise in illicit cannabis production is being fuelled by the increasing involvement of organised crime groups, who see it as a "low-risk and highly profitable criminal business".

    But the police also acknowledge that the recession and pressure on household budgets has led to a rise in a "grow your own" trade, with intelligence reports showing an increase in sales of seeds and equipment from local "head shops" to customers wanting to grow a few plants at home for their own use.

    The third "problem profile" of UK commercial cultivation of cannabis, published on Monday by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), says police have seized more than 1.1m plants with an estimated street value of £207m in the past two years.

    The survey, published every two years, confirms a majority of the cannabis used in Britain is now home-grown rather than imported, with some claiming more than 80% is intensively cultivated domestic herbal cannabis.

    But police chiefs say there is a shift away from large-scale cannabis factories in disused industrial and commercial buildings such as empty cinemas, shops and banks back to smaller houses and flats, often on suburban streets. The organised crime gangs behind the trade in home-grown cannabis are reacting to police crackdowns by moving away from large-scale premises to employing a large number of "gardeners" to operate small-scale "grow sites" or factories across several residential areas. "This spreads the risk and minimises the potential for detection and financial loss," says the report.

    It acknowledges there has been a proliferation of users claiming to be involved in growing plants at home for personal use. It says the economic downturn and a fall in the weight of the average street cannabis deal have been accompanied by a rise in the amount of home-grown cultivation for personal use.

    This has also led to a rise in the amount of home-grown cannabis being supplied to friends and acquaintances through "social dealing".

    But the report says in many cases the number of plants seized in raids is well above 25, which is regarded as the legal minimum to be prosecuted for commercial cultivation and for which the indicative minimum sentence is two to five years.

    The police say they assume anyone who grows more than 10 plants is likely to have a surplus and therefore to be supplying others.

    Police say 7,865 cannabis farms or factories were detected in Britain in 2011-12, compared with 6,866 in 2009-10 – a 15% rise since the last time the UK problem profile was published. Just over 3,000 were detected in 2007-08.

    Police chiefs estimate the crime figures for the year to March 2012 will show 16,464 offences recorded for commercial cannabis production compared with 14,982 for 2010-2011.

    The report plays down previous claims that so much cannabis is being grown in Britain that it has become a net exporter. "Intelligence indicates that UK organised crime gangs may supply drugs to the continent to fill a gap in the market but there is no evidence of widespread export," it says.

    The Acpo report admits that tackling cannabis factories is not considered a priority for most British police forces, with operations to tackle the supply of class A drugs such as heroin and cocaine a higher priority. The police also see the dismantling of cannabis factories as a short-term solution which misses opportunities for further investigation into other potentially linked factories.

    Allan Gibson, of Acpo, said: "Commercial cannabis cultivation continues to pose a significant risk to the UK. Increasing numbers of organised crime groups are diverting into this area of criminality but we are determined to continue to disrupt such networks and reduce the harm caused by drugs.

    "This profile provides a detailed analysis of the current threat from commercial cultivation of cannabis and the work undertaken by law enforcement agencies to combat the threat. It provides a framework to facilitate future planning and decision-making for preventative, legislative and enforcement activity to make the UK a hostile environment for cannabis cultivators."

    • This article was amended on 30 April 2012. The original said 1.9m cannabis plants had been seized in the past two years. Acpo has since corrected its figures to 1.1m.



  1. RClover
    I'm Sorry but why is it every article I read seems to portray the lies as REAL facts and the truth as LIES? Oh wait I forgot I was reading a media article.

    The point I am trying to make here is illustrated in this quote here and at various other points through the article.

    The Lie being displayed as the FACT.

    'Chief constables say the rise in illicit cannabis production is being fuelled by the increasing involvement of organised crime groups, who see it as a "low-risk and highly profitable criminal business".
    The truth getting mentioned slightly but being clouded so people believe the above statement.

    But the police also acknowledge that the recession and pressure on household budgets has led to a rise in a "grow your own" trade, with intelligence reports showing an increase in sales of seeds and equipment from local "head shops" to customers wanting to grow a few plants at home for their own use'

    Now I do not want to seem oblivious to the fact that yes there are criminals who see cannabis as a low risk way to earn a lot of money. Although 'Low risk' itself can be questioned because of the now long sentences associated with cannabis possession/dealing etc.

    But and here is the main point, The REAL reason people are growing cannabis, Stabbing each other, Committing theft etc. In this country is because they are getting desperate. As myself for a source I am an ex serviceman, Currently unemployed and struggling to find a job and I am certainly not the only one in the position I have many friends myself who are also in this position some who are and some who are not ex servicemen themselves.

    The current situation is a lot worse than people think. For someone in employment now the situation in this country is cloaked to them, Please note I am not trying to have a go at any employed here, The government we have in now, namely the conservatives out of the two parties are straining the country to its limit, with the cuts that are being made everyone is too scared to spend any money, buy or move house and because of this the economy is suffering more than ever. If you go to the local job centre you will find that most of the jobs advertised are part time, a lot of these jobs offering 8 hours a week, a wage anyone can simply not live off so what do they do? Well of course what they have to do sign on for benefits through no fault of there own. Now of course I recognise that some people do this because they want to, they don't want to work but let’s not get stereotypical, I cannot site sources but I am telling you from my own personal experience that most of the people out of employment in this country are desperate for a job which sadly isn't there.

    Now I'm going to go deeper into this situation. A friend of mine is a very skilled, fit individual looking for a job, he has college qualifications and an out going friendly manner a perfect candidate for many jobs, however he has now been searching for 1 year plus and still finds himself unemployed, he refuses to sign on out of pride and finds the odd job here and there and also his family supports him with the basics, food and a roof above his head, he lives with his parents. Now if you are from Britain on here currently unemployed you may have noticed that many of the jobs you have applied for you never even get a reply, I myself recently attended a second interview for a job and have now had no reply for a week plus when I was told I would get a reply within one to two day whether I had the job or not, Going back to my friend, he says he had lost count of the jobs he has applied for although in this year period of applying has heard back from maybe 13 or 14, he says that this has made him very depressed and plays on his mind as to why he cannot get a job, to anyone who thinks this sounds pathetic try being unemployed! The stress of being unemployed for someone who wants work is great it puts you in the position where you have no pleasures in life as you cannot afford them for example driving a car, going to the pub with friends and worse of all being stuck around with nothing to do.

    This is where I come to the extremely important part of my rant; my friend as mentioned above came to my house the other after calling me and saying he was feeling down. When he arrived at my house I could tell he was upset... and angry, He told how had written to the local MP asking what he was doing for people to try and get them into employed, how he was improving the local area etc. And guess what he received no reply, he was talking to me before a while until he came out with it to quote his exact words he said ' I've had enough of not having a f****** job, I went to college got my qualifications for nothing, I feel like I've wasted two years of my life, If I can't earn money straight then I'm going to have to earn it another way' He knew that I knew exactly what I meant he even suggested I join him, To be perfectly honest and understand and don't blame him if he does get involved with anything.

    The conclusion is the majority of this countries problems are being caused by the stress this new government is placing on the unemployed, and people in difficult positions, Now people can disagree with me and give me 100's of other reasons why the country is in such a state but at this current moment in time, When your living right in the middle of the frying pan like me and my friends and the millions of other people I see round me each day, I beg to differ.

    Thank you for reading this if you actually reached the end, sorry if I insulted anyone but to me this is telling it how it is!
  2. shroooom
    You're spot on mate. It's a very bad mess we're in. I'm fortunate enough to have been in full time employment for the most part of the last few years. Having said that, I wouldn't say I'm cloaked from the mess that surrounds me in the country. I do agree though a lot of people are cloaked. They don't realise how hard it is for some people. Some of my closest friends have had to sleep on the streets. People I've known since childhood. It's very sad.

    Also regarding the article... I find it a bit funny it says cannabis production is booming. Prices are going up and it seems to be getting a bit harder to get a hold of these days.
  3. mersann
    Cannabis production booming in Britain? Or change in cannabis production culture?

    If twice the amount of "factories" are found and each produces half as much on average, then -- surprise, surprise --, you'll end up with exactly the same amount of Cannabis. Sadly, there is no value to compare the 1.1m plants to they found in the last two years (and even then, weights etc. would have to analysed independently).
  4. RClover
    That is a very good point ^^ Say you had 1.2 million plants and 1.3 million plants whos to say weighs more etc. It depends how far into development the plants are some may have been busted long before the bud could even be harvested from them!

    And also just because they found more does not have to mean there is more plant factories popping up it could just mean there looking harder.
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