Blazin’ squad: Salford children breathe new life into cannabis plant pots seized in major drugs bust

A group of children helped transform cannabis plant pots into vibrant garden attractions during a half-term fun day in Salford, after they had been seized in a drugs raid.

Greater Manchester Police retrieved 120 plant pots following a major drugs bust in Swinton, Salford, last month, and decided to put the pots to a better use.

Police officers teamed up with the housing provider Salix Homes, Ordsall Community Arts and the Beechfarm Residents Association to organise an arts project for residents living on the Beechfarm estate in Swinton.

During a half-term fun day at Margaret’s Garden, on Kingsley Road, children painted the pots in vibrant colours before being handed out to residents to fill with plants.

PC Iain Fletcher, neighbourhood beat officer in Swinton, said: “We had been planning for some time to do a community event to help bring people together and brighten up the estate.

“Initially we wanted to use hanging baskets, but it was turning out to be quite expensive, so after we did the drugs raid in Swinton I had a bit of a light bulb moment and thought ‘why not recycle the plant pots instead?’

“This is the first time we have done anything like this, as we would normally just destroy the plant pots recovered in a drugs raid, but it’s great to see them put to good use and all the residents have loved getting involved.”

The project was partially funded thanks to a grant from Salford-based Salix Homes as part of its ‘Your Salix, Your Say’ fund, which provides money to projects and initiatives that will help improve neighbourhoods.

Sue Sutton, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “Salix Homes is delighted to help fund such a fantastic community project through its ‘Your Salix,Your Say’ grant. 

“Our successful grant scheme exists to help fund projects that can make a real difference to an area and the lives of residents and this art project is testament to that.

“The cultivation and supply of drugs causes a real blight in our communities, but thanks to Greater Manchester Police, this project has turned a negative into a positive and put the remnants of drug crime to good use.”

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