Cannabis plants with an estimated annual yield of over £100 million have been seized from across Merseyside during the past 12 months.
Between January 1 and December 31 2019, specialist cannabis dismantling teams from Merseyside Police attended and dismantled 182 cannabis farms and seized and destroyed 25,516 cannabis plants – with a potential annual yield of approximately £102,064,000.
In addition cropped cannabis, known as green vegetable matter (GVM) and valued at over £370,000, and over £520,000 worth of electrical items were seized and destroyed from cannabis farms.
It is estimated over £4.1m was also saved by electricity companies due to the disconnection of abstracted electricity.
The haul included one of the largest ever cannabis farms on Merseyside which was discovered in St Helens, containing 2,885 plants, with an estimated annual yield in the region of £10 million.
Two men were charged with production of cannabis and will stand trial next year.
Cannabis dismantling team manager Matt Brown, said:
Criminal groups involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in other serious organised crime however with the help of our communities, we can stop these groups, who are only interested in making money, from turning houses into potential death traps. Nobody wants to live or work next door to these places and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property for this purpose, please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up.
Some of the signs that cannabis is being grown are:
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 and industrial lighting
Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
Heat from an adjoining property
Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather
Individually these activities may seem commonplace, however, together may indicate something more sinister
Matt Brown also explains how you can spot signs of cannabis being grown where you live can be found here.
Anyone with information on suspected cannabis growing in their community can contact @MerPolCC, call 101 or give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.