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Cannabis

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many raids upon cannabis factories have been conducted by each police force in the last three years. (278933)

Data are collected centrally and at police force level on offences related to cannabis production, although no data are collected centrally which relate to the number of raids on cannabis factories. It is, therefore, not possible to provide a response to this question.

However, in 2007-08, in recognition of inconsistencies in definitions of the term ‘cannabis factory’ across police forces, a single definition was agreed and a baseline set for the number of operations against such enterprises. The agreed definition was any premises, whether commercial or residential, where the premises, or part therein, has been adapted to such an extent that normal usage would be inhibited and usually present within the premises, or part therein, are items solely concerned for the production of cannabis, i.e.

Hydroponics system

High intensity lighting

Ventilation/extractor fans

Any other affiliated equipment, and/or

Electricity meter bypassed (abstraction of electricity).

The total number of premises meeting this definition recorded in 2007-08 was 3,033. Results by police force are set out in the table. More recent data are not yet available and, as 2007-08 was the baseline year, it is not possible to provide data at a national level for the last three years.

Cannabis factories recorded 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

Number

Avon and Somerset

207

Bedfordshire

17

BTP

8

Cambridgeshire

112

Central Scotland

1

Cheshire

21

Cleveland

43

Cumbria

11

Derbyshire

53

Devon and Cornwall

19

Dorset

28

Dumfries and Galloway

0

Durham

7

Dyfed-Powys

41

Essex

68

Fife

1

Gloucestershire

4

GMP

227

Grampian

9

Gwent

42

Hampshire

37

Hertfordshire

70

Humberside

18

Kent

73

Lancashire

123

Leicestershire

75

Lincolnshire

49

Lothian and Borders

4

Merseyside

118

Met

289

Norfolk

44

North Wales

31

North Yorkshire

11

Northamptonshire

27

Northern Constabulary

0

Northumbria

38

Nottinghamshire

55

PSNI

4

South Wales

73

South Yorkshire

54

Staffordshire

51

Strathclyde

30

Suffolk

22

Surrey

12

Sussex

37

Tayside

7

Thames Valley

110

Warwickshire

48

West Mercia

18

West Midlands

203

West Yorkshire

368

Wiltshire

14