Cannabis plants

North West cannabis crackdown

Police have promised to weed out cannabis farms after more than 5,000 were discovered in north-west England.

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Merseyside police bust cannabis farms worth £6.5m

Cannabis farms worth £6.5 million have been uncovered by Merseyside Police during a month long crackdown on organised crime.

Officers from across Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Knowsley seized 6,500 plants from 84 cannabis farms. More than 160 people have been arrested in connection with growing cannabis and cash totalling £111,000 seized from them.

Superintendent Dave Charnock said the results showed what could be achieved when the public shared information with the police about drugs in their communities.

One of the largest was an 826 plants cannabis farm at a property off Leyfield Road in West Derby last Thursday.

The range in size and scale of some of these farms has been vast and it is clear that they have been set up by people who are highly organised and know what they are doing. "Many of the larger set-ups have been very sophisticated, with expensive lighting and irrigation systems to replicate the hot, humid conditions these plants need to grow. "Officers and support staff have worked tirelessly to achieve these excellent results often in difficult conditions and it has been reassuring to have so much support from the public who have given us the information we need.

"I am sure these results will show the people of Merseyide just what we can achieve when we work together to stop drug dealing and drug supply blighting our communities."

– Superintendent Dave Charnock

Six arrests in Merseyside drugs crackdown

Police have arrested six men after dawn raids at 10 addresses across Merseyside.

The men, aged between 20 and 51, are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to produce cannabis.

During the 10 month investigation officers have uncovered four cannabis farms at addresses in Kirkdale, Fazakerley, Anfield and Tuebrook worth around £250,000.

Searches of the addresses are still being carried out by officers, but officers have already recovered a large amount of cash.

We are committed to stamping out the illegal drug-dealing activities that cause misery to the lives of so many. Work undertaken by the Force shows that many of the firearms incidents we see on Merseyside are linked to the cultivation of cannabis and those involved in cannabis cultivation do not care about the consequences that their actions have on communities and we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour."

– DI Dominic Harrison,

Those arrested have been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will be interviewed by detectives.

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12 arrests after Merseyside cannabis crackdown

Police have arrested 12 people and seized more than 260 cannabis plants during the second day of a week-long crack down on drugs gangs.

Officers executed drugs raids in Birkenhead, Rock Ferry, Southport, Kirkby, Halewood, Orrell Park, Aigbuth and Toxteth yesterday.

Crimestoppers are encouraging anyone who susepcts they live near or know where a cannis farm has been set up to pass on that information anonymously and in confidence so that the police can take action.

On Monday police arrested 14 people and seized more than 250 cannabis plants during the first day of the operation. Ammunition, cocaine and heroin were also seized as officers cracked down on organised criminal gangs.

Shameless star accused of producing cannabis

Jody Latham arrives at court Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Former Shameless and EastEnders star Jody Latham, from Lancashire, has appeared in court charged with producing cannabis.

Latham, 29, is accused of growing 24 plants, with a value of about £14,000, at an address in Bacup in May last year.

He found fame through the role of "Lip" Gallagher in Channel 4 drama Shameless.

He attended Burnley Magistrates' Court along with co-defendant Sarah Melia, 31, who faces the same charge.

No pleas were indicated for either defendant as the case was adjourned until October 10 when the matter is due to be committed to Burnley Crown Court.Latham, of Market Street, Bacup, and Melia, of Cotman Close, Bacup, were granted unconditional bail

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Key signs to spotting a cannabis farm

As police across the region pledge a crackdown on cannabis growers in the North West, forces have released a list of tell-tale signs that a farm may be in operation.

  • Strange smells and sounds
  • Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
  • Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans or industrial lighting
  • Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
  • Heat from an adjoining property
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