Cannabis ‘scratch and sniff’ cards to be sent to homes
‘Scratch and sniff’ cards have are to be handed out to help members of the public recognise the smell of cannabis as part of a major crackdown on illegal drug farms.
The cards, which contain an element replicating the smell of cannabis in its growing state, will be used to target hotspots for illicit cultivation across the region.
A 2012 review revealed residential buildings are increasingly being used to house cannabis farms, rather than industrial properties.
The scratch and sniff cards, which contain a substance similar to cannabis with the controlled elements removed, are to be put through letterboxes in growing hotspots by charity Crimestoppers.
Director of Operations Roger Critchell said: “We are distributing scratch and sniff cards because not many people know how to recognise the signs of cannabis cultivation happening in their neighbourhood, many are also not familiar with the established links between this crime and serious organised crime.”
More than 350 cannabis farms holding more than 25 plants were discovered by police in Leeds last year, while 170 people were arrested for possessing the drug with intent to supply.
Andy Bliss, from the Association of Chief Police Officers lead for drugs, said: “Closing down cannabis farms and arresting the criminals who run and organise them is a key focus in drugs policing.
“This is because we recognise that these farms are often run by organised criminals but also because they can bring crime and anti-social behaviour into local communities causing real harm and leaving people feeling unsafe.
“We know that many people don’t realise that the empty, run down house or flat on their street with people coming and going late at night may actually be a commercial cannabis farm. It’s not just the stereotype of disused industrial estate units.
“This campaign will held the public recognise the signs and smells of a cannabis farm.”
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers, anonymously and in 100 per cent in confidence on 0800 555 111 or using the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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