The Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) is asking the public to provide anonymous information on houses and flats that they suspect are being used to grow the class B drug.
Over the past four years Scotland’s police forces have seized almost £40 million worth of cannabis plants, enough to cover the football pitches at Hampden, Ibrox and Parkhead. Earlier this year police in Edinburgh discovered cannabis cultivation with a potential estimated street value of £56,000 during a raid on a flat in the Newington area of the city.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill said:
“Serious organised crime affects us all. It brings human misery to thousands of families through the harmful drugs they peddle – with cannabis most often the drug that starts people on that dark journey.
“We need the public’s help to expand our knowledge, and disrupt these criminals’ operations. Even the smallest piece of information about an individual or group’s activity can be the key that unlocks the door to disrupting an entire criminal empire.”
Growing cannabis is not just illegal, it is potentially dangerous. Properties are often destroyed internally to maximise space for plants, with walls damaged and often knocked down. This represents a serious fire and electrocution risk because the electricity supply is interfered with and powerful lighting is left on for long periods of time.
Blacked out windows, a low hum or loud buzzing noise caused by fans or extraction systems are all indicators that a property may be being used to grow the illegal drug. There may also be a strong, sweet distinctive smell and an unusual level of heat coming through walls and floors. The SCDEA is calling on the public to anonymously share any suspicions they have through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or give information anonymously online at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.