Cannabis farm warning
SUFFOLK: Police chiefs will continue to target individuals involved in the cultivation of cannabis after it emerged that 19 drug farms and factories had been discovered by Suffolk Constabulary in the past year.
A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said that although there had been no significant rise in the amount of cannabis farms found in Suffolk, in 2009/10 there were 19 locations where cannabis farms were uncovered by police – the equivalent of three farms for every 100,000 Suffolk residents.
Nationally almost 20 commercial cannabis factories were found by police every day.
In 2008/09, 12 cannabis farms were found in Suffolk, while in 07/08 police targeted 22 sites of cannabis cultivation.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary told The Evening Star that although the number of drug offences had decreased, the amount of drug trafficking related offences had increased.She said: “Suffolk Constabulary is committed to targeting all drug offences, including drug misuse, trafficking, cultivation and associated crimes.
“In 2009/2010 the number of drugs offences in Suffolk recorded decreased by 14 per cent; however, drug trafficking offences increased by 39pc, which is a reflection of the Constabulary’s pro-active approach to tackling organised drug-related crime – 130 more drug dealers were dealt with during 2009/10 than in 2008/09.
“We will target any properties or individuals whom we believe to be involved in the commercial cultivation of cannabis and we are committed to ensuring that robust action is taken against those who commit this type of crime, which has a very serious effect on local communities.”
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Commander Allan Gibson, of ACPO , said the national findings, which reflected a rise, were in part down to an increased focus on the issue by the authorities.
“The police response is now stronger and more effective through better co-ordination and intelligence sharing between forces and other agencies and more covert operations against the operators,” he said.
“The level of publicity around cannabis since its reclassification in 2008 has meant that more members of the community are now reporting any unusual signs of habitation in buildings and houses, which is leading to more detections.”
n What do you think about the number of cannabis farms found in Suffolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.