Police ask Leeds residents to report anything they know about potential cannabis farms during awareness week
West Yorkshire Police is raising awareness of the link between serious and organised crime and cannabis farms - and has asked residents to report any information they may have on potential locations.
The Force is holding a Cannabis Farm Awareness Week all this week and is asking people to report any information – either about people dealing the Class B drug or where a cannabis farm might be based.
Detective Superintendent Fiona Gaffney leads West Yorkshire Police’s Programme Precision – the response to serious and organised criminality in the county.
“‘It is just a bit of harmless weed’ is a phrase we often hear from people but the impact of cannabis is considerable", DS Gaffney said.
“Cannabis factories and farms are often linked to the vile crimes of human trafficking and modern slavery, crimes which literally trade in human misery.
“Victims forced to work in the factories often do so for little or no money, with few personal freedoms and under the threat of other criminals looking to steal the product.
“Cannabis farms are often centres of anti social behaviour too – and this can greatly on the quality of life for other people in the area.
“People associated with a cannabis farm are often involved in other forms of criminal activity including dealing in Class A drugs which in turn can attract other forms of serious and organised criminality such as firearms offences.
“As a Force we are doing what we can to bring offenders to justice and last year we dismantled 1013 cannabis farms across West Yorkshire.
“And that is why we are holding our own Cannabis Farm Awareness Week – to help inform our communities about the risks and dangers of cannabis farms and to encourage people to come forward with information.”
A short video helping explain the issues around cannabis farms has been produced and is being released on the Force’s social media channels.
Accompanying it are posters and leaflets which give some suggested signs of a potential cannabis farm.
These will be distributed throughout the communities of West Yorkshire, police said.
The Force is also working closely with landlords to help advise them of potential signs to spot and to warn of the potential dangers of having a tenant who engages in this type of criminality.
What can I do?
If you have information about cannabis dealing or production in your area call 101 or report online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat
Alternatively you can call the independent crime fighting charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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