Updated: Friday, 21st February 2020 @ 12:40pm

Cannabis farm crackdown yields 'positive results' claim Cheshire Police, as they attempt to weed out growers

Cannabis farm crackdown yields 'positive results' claim Cheshire Police, as they attempt to weed out growers

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

More than 28 warrants have been executed over the past couple of weeks as part of a Cheshire Police operation that aims to weed out cannabis growers.

Cheshire Police said that Operation Broadley is ‘yielding some positive results’ in tackling the problem of cannabis cultivation.

Cannabis farms have been discovered in large towns such as Warrington, Macclesfield and Northwich as well as in rural areas like Tarvin.

The operation ran throughout March and resulted in the seizure of hundreds of plants.

Cheshire Police said: “You may not realise it but the farms themselves pose a serious threat to your health.

“They require the large quantities of fertilizers and pesticides being stored and are often connected illegally to the electricity supply, posing huge fire risks.”

Cheshire Police claim that cannabis production is one of the biggest problems in the area with the number of uncovered farms leaping sharply over the past years.

Numbers show 373% year-on-year increase in the number of cannabis farms in the area.

According to the police the reason for this is a trend by organised crime groups to split up their operations across a wide range of smaller properties, rather than one big industrial complex.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Shaw who is overseeing the cannabis crackdown said: “We want to cause as much disruption as possible to those organised crime gangs who see growing cannabis as an easy way to make money.

“The more farms we can take out of circulation, the more illegal drugs we take off the streets.

“Organised crime gangs often use violence and intimidation to force those most vulnerable in our society to set up cannabis farms.

“They put them at risk whilst they reap the profits, which then go towards funding serious and organised crime,” he added.

Operation Broadley organised through the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (Titan) and involving officers from Merseyside, GMP, Cheshire, Lancashire, North Wales and Cumbria aimed at disrupting cannabis cultivation in the North West and gathering intelligence on drug supply.

“The more information we can get, the better. By bringing together details about where the equipment has come from and how the drugs are being distributed, we can build the picture of the problem in Cheshire which will lead to future operations aimed at stopping the gangs,” Detective Chief Inspector Shaw said.

“We are asking for the cooperation of individuals and businesses to help us to put a stop to illegal cannabis production in Cheshire.

“There is a strong and distinctive smell to cannabis and farms often have a number of frequent and varied visitors to a property at unusual times,” he said.

In addition to searching homes for cannabis plants, Cheshire Constabulary is working with housing associations, estate agents, rental companies, garden centres and DIY stores to raise awareness about cannabis growers.

If anyone has concerns relating to cannabis growing in a property in the street, road or community call Cheshire Police on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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