11 arrests in £70,000 cannabis crackdown

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A MAJOR crackdown on cannabis cultivation across Lancashire has seen 13 drugs warrants executed, 11 people arrested and more than £70,000-worth of drugs recovered by police in the first week of the campaign.

Operation Broadley, which will run throughout March, is a regional campaign involving officers executing search warrants at homes across Lancashire as well as carrying out joint work with local authorities and other organisations to identify signs of cannabis cultivation and take action.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Leeson, from Lancashire’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “The use of drugs and associated crime causes misery to local communities so we are determined to take action.

“People might think that growing cannabis isn’t harmful to the wider community but the fact is that some of the people involved in cannabis cultivation have links to organised crime, while others are endangering neighbouring premises by tampering with electricity supplies to power cannabis farms.

“Although it’s early days for Operation Broadley, I am pleased with the results to date and hope our local communities are reassured by the extra police activity.

“I also hope it gives residents the confidence to report any suspicious activity they might have witnessed, including tell tale signs of cannabis cultivation like a strange smell coming from a property or odd, frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times.”

He concluded: “Along with other North West forces, we take the cultivation and supply of cannabis extremely seriously and we will act on all information we receive to disrupt and ultimately prevent those involved in the drugs trade from operating on our streets.”

Anyone with information or concerns about drugs in their community can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.