Police finding 20 large-scale cannabis factories in Britain EVERY DAY | Mail Online

Police discover 20 large-scale cannabis factories in Britain every day – so are we now a drugs EXPORTER?

Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:34 PM on 17th August 2010

Police chiefs have warned that the UK is producing so much cannabis that ‘there is now a market for exportation’.

The announcement comes as more than 6,800 cannabis farms and factories were discovered by police in the UK last year, figures showed today.

A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said almost 20 commercial cannabis factories were being found by police every day.

This takes the total for 2009/10 to 6,886 – more than double the 3,032 discovered two years ago.


Better detection: The number of cannabis factories discovered by police has more than doubled in the past two years. It is thought this rise is due to better intelligence sharing between police forces and more reports from the public

This figure is also more than eight times the annual average between 2004 and 2007.

More than 1.3 million plants worth an estimated �150million were
recovered in the last two financial years, Acpo said.

2009/10, police seized almost 750,000 plants with an estimated yield of
�85million, compared with more than 500,000 plants with an estimated
yield of �65million the year before.

However, their report noted there was ‘no
intelligence or evidence to suggest that [cannabis exportation] is happening’.

Commander Allan Gibson, the Acpo lead on cannabis, said the findings came as no surprise and the rise was in part down to an increased focus on the issue by the authorities.

‘The police response is now stronger and more effective through better
coordination 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.

‘This profile gives us a better understanding of the current picture of the commercial cultivation of cannabis in the UK and the need for continued robust enforcement.’


Across the UK, police discovered 11 cannabis factories per 100,000 people in the 2009/10 financial year and estimate that the plants had a yield of �85million

The largest factory found was in an industrial unit in Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, where more than 7,600 plants were recovered with an estimated yield of �2.5 million, the report said.

Acpo also found that the premises used for cannabis cultivation were becoming more varied and included industrial buildings, former pubs, cinemas, nightclubs, hotels, print works and even banks.

The report, called the UK National Problem Profile: Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis, also found that criminals involved in the cannabis farms were also involved in crimes such as counterfeiting currency and DVDs, money laundering, immigration crime, firearms, blackmail, prostitution, theft and people trafficking.

Reports of factories being taxed by other criminals has also led to criminals arming themselves with machetes, sawn-off shotguns and stun guns, Acpo said.

More discreet weapons, including a mobile phone and a torch with electrodes on the top which caused shock when in contact with skin, were also found.

Some forces also reported that a small number of factories featured booby traps.

‘Law enforcement have witnessed attempts to electrify window frames and door knobs, a home-made device which would detonate a shot gun cartridge and a window criss-crossed with bare wire attached to a standard three-pin plug,’ the report said.


Leafy suburb: Police seize a large haul of cannabis earlier this year in Purley, south London

In another instance, an external side gate at a factory was wired
directly to the mains.

‘Any person touching the handle or jumping over the gate could have
been severely injured or killed,’ the report said.

It also found that the majority of offenders were aged between 18 and

Across the UK, police discovered 11 cannabis factories per 100,000 people in the 2009/10 financial year, compared with five in 2007/08 and eight in 2008/09.

The highest number of factories (896) were found in the West Yorkshire force area, equivalent to 41 factories per 100,000 population, up 141 per cent from 17 factories per 100,000 in 2007/08, the Acpo figures showed.

Greater Manchester Police found 32 factories per 100,000 in 2009/10, the second highest ratio of any force, followed by the West Midlands (30), and Avon and Somerset (25).

The North Yorkshire force recorded the highest rise in the number of factories found, up 1,200 per cent to 13 last year from just one in 2007/08 – but the force does not experience a large number of factories compared with other areas, the report found.


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Comments (37)

Here’s what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below,
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The government can’t legalise canabis smoking or growing because it would be impossible to tax and taxation is the only reason they will not legalise it.

Imagine if you were able to grow something in your own home that you get pleasure from and the government can’t tax it,

– Benny, Manchester, 17/8/2010 14:11

You can make beer and wine at home, you can even grow tobacco if you want, but the government still rake in millions in tax because most people are too lazy to be bothered to make their own. The same would apply for cannabis.

– David, Hants, 17/8/2010 14:54

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“Police discover 20 large-scale cannabis factories in Britain every day”.

Ah well thats industrious capitalism for your.

– Brian B, Glasgow, UK, 17/8/2010 14:32

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6800 cannibis factories discovered by the police in a year, that cant be right. I know, I read the DM every day and the police dont leave there offices except to persecute drivers. This jounalist will end up losing his bonus just for doing his job

– David, Glasgow, 17/8/2010 14:18

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The government can’t legalise canabis smoking or growing because it would be impossible to tax and taxation is the only reason they will not legalise it.

Imagine if you were able to grow something in your own home that you get pleasure from and the government can’t tax it, it’s pure greed from the governemt that is preventing it being made legal, if the government were that bothered about your health they would ban tobacco but they don’t because they can tax tobacco.

– Benny, Manchester, 17/8/2010 14:11

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If our criminals are actually exporting drugs just wait for the compensation claims from the countries affected.

– PC, Merseyside, 17/8/2010 14:03

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“Death penalty for growing and a minimum 20 years for possession will sort them out Building more prisons will help to stimulate the economy, sell the execution TV rights to Sky and we’ll be quids in”

– Debra Bell, London, 17/8/2010 12:58

I’ve read your views on cannabis before, Debra – in the Mail now I think about it.

Of course, we’re all entitled to our opinion; mine is that the things you’ve written on the subject are asinine and hysterical nonsense.

Given that at the time of writing, your comment is the worst rated, I’d guess the Mail isn’t going to be offering you more article space any time soon.

– Dave, Bristol, UK, 17/8/2010 14:02

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