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Unsafe wiring and illegally power supply sparking fires

Cannabis factory fires can be severe due the way criminals use unsafe wiring to illegally obtain electricity in order to grow the plants.

They're often in top floors or lofts which means when a fire takes hold it spreads, destroying roofs and damaging neighbouring buildings.

Firefighters can also be exposed to risks when dealing with the fires due to dodgy wiring and booby traps at some of the properties.

It's important that people know the key signs and inform the police so that they can act swiftly to prevent these dangerous fires.

– Dave Brown, London Fire Brigade


Boom in homegrown cannabis prompts jump in fires

London has seen a jump in the number of house fires because of the sharp increase in the homegrown cannabis industry.

Cannabis farms are often booby trapped meaning firefighters tackling them are at greater risk of serious injury Credit: Press Association

London Fire Brigade says cannabis-related fires have more than doubled in the last two years.

Last year there was one fire a fortnight in a building being used to cultivate cannabis. That's more than double the number of blazes seen in 2010/11.

The figures also show that 25 of the 27 fires last year were in residential properties posing a significant risk to homes next door.

'Sophisticated, well oiled' drugs ring dismantled

Today's arrests are the culmination of a lot of planning and hard work. We have dismantled what was a sophisticated, well oiled, well established operation involving a network of criminals from the cargo handlers to the couriers to the distributors all the way up to the top of the pile.

– Det Supt Stephen Ratcliffe, Serious, Organised and Economic Crime Command

Cocaine flown to Heathrow and 'moved by cargo handlers'

Police say large quantities of near pure cocaine were recovered with a street value totalling many millions of pounds.

  • The drugs would come in to London Heathrow in cargo containers on flights from Mexico City
  • Once the aircraft arrived into the terminal, cargo handlers would quickly remove the drugs, which were boxed inside the cargo container, before it was moved on
  • Couriers would then liaise with the cargo handlers and collect the drugs and pass them onto the criminals responsible for distributing the drugs to local dealers


Operation to smash international drug ring recovers cocaine worth millions

Met Police Officers have carried out a series of co-ordinated raids on homes in London and the South East as part of an operation to smash an international drugs smuggling ring.

Large quantities of near pure cocaine were recovered
Large quantities of near pure cocaine were recovered Credit: Met Police

Police say today's operation dismantled a well-established, organised criminal network responsible for importing and distributing millions of pounds worth of cocaine.

The drugs had a street value of millions of pounds
The drugs had a street value of millions of pounds Credit: Met Police

Over £60k recovered after drug trafficking probe

More than £60,000 has been recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act following a money laundering investigation by Lewisham Police's Criminal Finance Team into drug trafficking activities in London linked to a South East Asian organised crime gang.

Barry Wong, 47, of Lewisham was jailed for two years in June for money laundering and a forfeiture order was granted today at Bromley Magistrates Court as there were reasonable grounds to believe that the seized cash was derived from crime and therefore recoverable.

Ian Smith, Lewisham Police Criminal Finance Team said:

Barry Wong disowned the seized cash from the outset and there were no other claimants for the cash during the investigation.

This can only be because it was 'dirty money' from criminal activity and could not be attributed to any legitimate source.

The Metropolitan Police Criminal Finance Teams are committed to bankrupting any criminal organization, however big or small they are, and particularly those that are of the opinion it is safe to deal in cash obtained through crime.


LRB defends Hilary Mantel over Kate comments

The London Review of Books has attempted to clarify comments made by Hilary Mantel about the Duchess of Cambridge, saying the author was actually criticising the media.


What Mantel really wrote is about how the media make the royals suffer: 'I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes.'

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