Scratch and sniff cards to help track down cannabis farms

Scratch and sniff cards are to be used in the Daventry area to help members of the public identify locations of cannabis factories.

Independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is today (Tuesday) launching a campaign to tackle cannabis cultivation in the UK, a growing crime which has seen a 15% increase in cannabis factories in 2011/12.

Hotspot areas targeted in this campaign include Northamptonshire, which have all been identified in an Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) report as areas with the highest number of cannabis farms in the UK. In Northamptonshire over 300 cannabis farms were identified by ACPO across 2010/2012.

Founder and chairman of Crimestoppers, Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC said: “Cannabis farms grow more than just drugs. Those who are cultivating cannabis tend to be involved in other areas of crime and are often involved in related gang crime and other violent crimes involving firearms.

“These individuals use violence and intimidation to carry out these crimes and endanger the lives of those around them. We want to help put an end to this and the funding that cultivation provides to serious organised crimes like human trafficking and gun crime.”

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.

“Cannabis farms make everyone a victim. Is organised crime running a cannabis farm in your neighbourhood? Give us information anonymously on 0800 555 111 to help play your part in keeping our streets safe.”