Eight men have been arrested and three cannabis factories dismantled after raids including in Bedfordshire. Police searched six properties in Bedford and two in Rugby, Warkwickshire, and Rushden, Northamptonshire, yesterday (June 16).
The raids were pre-planned, intelligence-led warrants as part of a Bedfordshire Police investigation into organised cannabis production. Across the locations, eight men aged between 22 and 55 were arrested on suspicion of offences including cannabis production, money laundering and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
All were taken into police custody for further questioning. Two of the Bedford locations and the Rushden address – all residential properties – were being used as cannabis factories, with dangerous wiring setups being used to power heat lamps.
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Detective Inspector Andy Stevens, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “We know from experience that the organised production of cannabis is intrinsically linked to violence, exploitation and a host of other criminal acts. It’s therefore vital that we look to apprehend those involved and ensure they can’t operate in our communities.
“Growing and selling cannabis is not only illegal but can also generate funds for gangs to use in other criminal enterprises. The warrants represent the latest activity in our drive to disrupt drug dealing networks and stop criminals making money from the illegal drugs trade.”
Anyone with concerns about drug dealing can report it to Bedfordshire Police online or by calling 101. Alternatively, report information to Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 or the Crimestoppers website.
A force spokesperson said: “Crimestoppers recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers residential and commercial properties bring to communities when being used to cultivate cannabis. It is estimated that 94 per cent of cannabis farms are located in domestic houses.
“Illegal drug activity not only has a detrimental affect on local communities, but also on vulnerable individuals within society, who may be coerced, forced or exploited into carrying out illegal activities on behalf of organised crime gangs. More information is available on the Crimestoppers website.”