Ipswich: Police raids uncovered almost £3m cannabis plants in two years

Cannabis raids have uncovered hundreds of plants in the past two years

Cannabis raids have uncovered hundreds of plants in the past two years - Credit: Archant

POLICE have seized more than 2,100 cannabis plants during raids on drug factories across the town in just a two-year period, it has emerged.

An Ipswich Star investigation has revealed that 2,115 plants were seized during 14 raids in 2011 and 2012.

New figures released by Suffolk police show that nine cannabis factories were raided in Ipswich during 2011 and a further five were targeted the following year.

The raids carried out during 2011 saw officers seize a total of 1,524 cannabis plants. The largest number of plants seized in a single raid was 473.

In 2012, officers discovered a further 591 plants while carrying out raids.

The data shows that the plants would have had a street value of up to £3million if each plant was producing the average amount of 113grams (4oz). The figure is based on the cannabis having a street value of £10 for just under a gram.

Details of where the raids took place in the town were not released by the force.

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The figures come after crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers launched its campaign to tackle cannabis cultivation in the UK.

The law enforcement authorities have seen a 15% increase in cannabis factories in 2011/12.

Crimestoppers and forces across the country, including Suffolk, have been distributing “scratch and sniff” cards to the public.

The aim of the new scheme is to inform people about the signs of spotting and detecting cannabis farms by recognising the specific smell of growing cannabis.

Robin Pivett, controlled drug inspection/drug reduction & prevention officer at Suffolk Police, added: “We are determined to continue to disrupt this area of criminality and reduce the harm caused by drugs especially to the young people of Suffolk who don’t always understand or accept the harm that cannabis may cause to their health and well being.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said signs of a cannabis factory include electrical wiring being tampered with, powerful lights being kept on all day and night in the attic, roof space or basement and windows being blacked out.

Call police on 101 if you suspect a cannabis factory in your area.

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