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West Midlands Police reveal cost of clearing out illegal cannabis farms

  1. Pondlife
    POLICE have spent almost £450,000 in less than a year dismantling cannabis farms across the Midlands.

    The £434,000 cost of the work, carried out since last summer, was revealed for the first time by West Midlands Police.

    Traditionally, police officers who swooped on cannabis factories also had to empty them, often taking them away from their front-line duties for an entire shift.

    To combat the problem, police last year set up a team of cannabis ‘dustbusters’, made up of civilian staff who are sent in to clean up makeshift drugs dens.

    And the team has helped to free up officers’ time to investigate those behind the cannabis dens and return to the beat.

    The number of sophisticated drugs farms found hidden away in houses and business premises in the West Midlands has almost quadrupled in recent years.

    A total of 174 factories were found in 2004 but this rocketed to 672 – almost two a day – by 2008.

    There were 500 factories found between April 2008 and May 2009.

    The factories have also been growing in sophistication, with gangs setting them up in underground cellars and basements in an effort to disguise the tell-tale heat signatures that can be picked up by thermal imaging cameras on board police helicopters.

    Crime scene investigators teams take a small sample of the plants that are being grown for evidence purposes.

    The rest of the plants, fertiliser and equipment have to be emptied from the property ready to be incinerated.

    On February 2, the Cannabis Disposal Team reached the milestone 100th job since formation.

    The team’s “greatest success” came a few days later when they stripped an estimated 6,000 plants from the biggest drugs factory smashed in the West Midlands.

    Officers discovered the £2 million drugs den hidden inside an industrial unit in Camden Street, Hockley after being called to an break-in at the property.

    As they searched the scene in Camden Street, they found about 6,000 plants inside.



  1. Samadhi
    While I'm sure the police think that they are doing a good job, they are really wasting their time, only 6000 plants is the biggest bust, that is like cutting a sliver of a huge pie. Especially considering that there is quite a bit of dutch cannabis imported to the UK... Using citizens to clean things like that up only furthers the criminality and enemy-making in the public's eye towards even the home-grow hobbyist. There are no doubt 'gangs' involved in illicit cannabis grows in every country, but if you make something illegal, chances are the lower ring of society will pick up on it to make money like the prohibition of alcohol in the USA and then anyone involved in it looks bad no matter their status in real life or their character, all for growing a flowering plant. Sounds like they are making mountains out of mole-hills still trying to convince the public that cannabis if legalized would take over the world and convert everyone into dope smoking and glue sniffing thugs.

    Moving underground to escape thermal imaging cameras, what a joke, thermal imaging cameras would also pick up readings from everyone in a neighborhood who is running their drier or has a fire in the fireplace. Most growers that swim knows carbon filter or ozone with a filtered output heating their house. Flying around in a helecoptor and arresting people with a heat source coming from their house has gotten U.S. police in a lot of trouble as around 50% of the time they break down the door of an innocent person.

    Give up the ghost law enforcement, and stop arresting people and blaming problems generated by society and media demonizing on a plant and the people involved with growing it.
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