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Public asked to ‘scratch and sniff’ out cannabis
COMMUNITIES in Sedgemoor are to be offered ‘scratch and sniff’ cards replicating the smell of cannabis.
It’s part of a Crimestoppers campaign being launched today (March 19) to educate the public about the signs to spot and detect cannabis farms.
This week Crimestoppers and police will distribute the cards through residents’ letterboxes, which contain an element replicating the smell of cannabis in its growing state.
Insp Roger Tolley, neighbourhood inspector for Sedgemoor, told the Mercury: “It’s an unusual concept but anything that will increase the amount of information available to the public to help tackle drug crime is a great opportunity.
“The eyes and ears of our community are vital in combating all types of crime, including the cultivation and sale of drugs which attracts criminality to the area and is a problem in Bridgwater.”
The UK has seen a 15% rise in cannabis factories in 2011/12. In Avon and Somerset, over 1,000 cannabis farms were identified by the Association of Chief Police Officers across 2010/2012 – this figure is the fifth highest across the UK.
Crimestoppers chief Roger Critchell said: “We are distributing cards because not many people know how to recognise the signs of cannabis cultivation in their neighbourhood. Many are also not familiar with the links between this crime and serious organised crime.”
Cannabis is a Class B drug and supplying it in the UK can lead to a 14 year prison sentence.
Contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call the police on 101.
o WHAT do you think of the campaign? Tweet us @BWMercury using the hash tag #weedthesigns or comment below.