Police put squeeze on cannabis production

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CANNABIS producers appear to be on the rack in Suffolk after new figures showed the county is bucking national trends.

Officers in the county uncovered 22 drug-making factories last year – well down on the 41 found in 2010. A factory is classed as a place where 15 or more cannabis plants are found.

The figures come despite the number of farms rising nationally by 15 per cent.

The data also show that the amount being produced has plunged, with police confiscating more than 4,000 plants in 2010 and only 1,700 in 2011.

The biggest haul in 2011 came in Bury St Edmunds, where 245 plants were seized from a factory.

According to The Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO), producers are moving away from large-scale operations towards smaller domestic premises. They are using multiple sites to produce the drug.

Det Insp Steve Mattin, from Suffolk Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Directorate, said public help was vital in shutting down factories.

“Warrants conducted at premises often come about from intelligence we receive, but members of the public and in particular landlords can assist us by being alert,” he said.