Thousands arrested, £130m of cannabis SEIZED in UK’s biggest police crackdown

A new police raid on cannabis farms has resulted in over 1,000 arrests and the seizure of plants worth £130 million across the United Kingdom.

Throughout June, every police department in England, Scotland, and Wales participated in Operation Mille. The largest of its type to date, more than 11,000 officers were involved, and £650,000 in cash and millions of pounds in drugs were seized.

A total of 200,000 cannabis plants were discovered, along with 15 to 20 firearms and more than 40 additional weapons.

Police cautioned that large-scale industrial units and abandoned residences used by criminals to grow cannabis could catch fire, result in electrical theft, and create odours and water damage.

The motivation behind the month-long crackdown wasn’t just to stop the cannabis farms, but to disrupt criminal gangs using the operations as “cash cows” to fund other offences.

These include money laundering, Class A drug smuggling, and violence, activities which the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) believes “blight communities”.

“We know that organised networks involved in cannabis production are also directly linked to an array of other serious criminality such as Class A drug importation, modern slavery and wider violence and exploitation”, Steve Jupp, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Serious and Organised Crime, said.

“This operation not only successfully disrupted a significant amount of criminal activity, but the intelligence gathered will also help inform future law enforcement across the country.

“Cannabis-related crime is often thought to be ‘low level’; however, there are clear patterns around the exploitation and violence organised crime groups are using to protect their enterprises.

“We also frequently find that cannabis production is just one aspect of their criminal operations and that they are complicit in wider offending which blights our communities.”

The NPCC works with the College of Policing and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to direct UK police leaders in cutting crime.

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