Public urged to help in cannabis fight

POLICE in Suffolk seized more than 1,300 cannabis plants in a nine-month period between 2005 and 2006, new figures revealed today.

POLICE in Suffolk seized more than 1,300 cannabis plants in a nine-month period between 2005 and 2006, new figures revealed today.

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the force retrieved the drugs from about 25 addresses all over the county.

Raids between August 2005 and May 2006 included the seizure of 459 plants from a terraced home in October 2005 and the seizure of 350 plants from a loft in December 2005 - both of these raids are thought to have taken place in Ipswich.

More recently, in May 2006 three homes were raided in Clarkson Street, London Road and Norwich Road in Ipswich and between 250 and 300 plants, valued at up to £1.5 million, were found.

Vietnamese nationals Anh Hai Bui, Ha Phu Bui, Phuong Thi Vu, Tham Thi Hoang and Tranh Tran were jailed for a total of almost 14 years earlier this month for their part in the operation.

Sergeant Simon Hobson, who worked on the case, said the number of seizures in 2005 and 2006 highlighted the work being carried out by Suffolk police to catch those behind cannabis production.

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He said: “We are proactively trying to find these premises and clearly there are more out there.

“We need the public to report any strange activity to us.”

Sgt Hobson said there was no average price for cannabis as its value depended on its potency.

He said the tetra-hydro-cannibol content, which is the chemical which creates the high experienced when taking the drug, would determine its strength and cost.

He added that the plants found in the most recent raids were at the top end of the scale in terms of their value.

The seizure of the drugs is believed to have contributed to the current high cost of cannabis in Ipswich as the supply has decreased dramatically.

Over the past two years there have been 96 offences of cannabis cultivation recorded in Suffolk with 20 of those offences in Ipswich and 19 in Lowestoft.

Buying cannabis seed is not illegal but Sgt Hobson said the minute you water the seed you are committing an offence.

Anyone who suspects cannabis is being grown in their neighbourhood should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

Has cannabis destroyed your life? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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