The United Kingdom has been going through some trying times. The country has recently voted to abandoned their place in the European Union (EU), while their national soccer team was just beaten in a total upset against the Iceland team. But, that doesn’t seem to be stopping the West Midlands Police force from persecuting cannabis factories to the fullest extent of the law. The metropolitan country had an estimated population of 2,808,356 back in 2014, making it the second most inhabited country in all of England.
Alongside their vast population is a rising number of cannabis factories, which have caused the police force to put together a special force to battle the cultivation of marijuana, called the Cannabis Disposal Team. This team is comprised of 10 police officers, including a supervising manager and a forensic expert. According to the West Midlands Police, from April 2015 to April 2016, they’ve discovered £8,883,900 worth of cannabis in the region, and have been raiding these grow operations once every three days, on average.
The newly formed team has been executing raids across the West Midlands, particularly in the Black Country, on a daily basis. Surprisingly enough, although the number of cannabis factory raids in the Black Country has increased from 88 in 2014/15 to 129 during this last year, the actual value of cannabis that has been confiscated has decreased. During the 2014-2015 numbers, the West Midlands Police force found about £10,163,700 worth of cannabis, which is over £1 million compared to the most recent year.
This has essentially proven to the Cannabis Disposal Team that these cannabis factories are operating on a smaller scale, yet there are more of them popping up across the Black Country. According to the police force, these cannabis farms ‘are very dangerous places,' citing that the bypassing of electricity meters and overloaded electrical circuits that run close to water pipes have attributed to great potential danger. According to the Cannabis Disposal Team, cannabis plants that are grown upstairs could cause floorboards to rot, which could lead to a collapsing floor within a residential building. After the specialized police team exterminates the grow operation, they work to ensure that the buildings are safe, and sometimes donate the grow equipment to local communities.
“We attend cannabis farms on a daily basis to find the electricity has been dangerously and illegally abstracted,” said an officer from the Cannabis Disposal Team.
Although the team seems to be taking their duty to rid the country of cannabis farms very seriously, they’ve had no trouble sharing their recurring cannabis busts on their Twitter page. Just a couple of days ago, they shared an image from an under-the-stairs cannabis grow operation bust that was found on Goodyear Avenue, while on that very same day, another cannabis raid on a Blackhalve Lane factory was shown to be taken over by the Cannabis Disposal Team, as well. Since cannabis has become more widely accepted across the UK, the West Midlands Police team seems determined to now attribute the dangers of marijuana cultivation to its potentially detrimental effect on electricity.