Cannabis farms being set up in 'back of shops and underground'

A cannabis farm <i>(Image: West Yorkshire Police)</i>
A cannabis farm (Image: West Yorkshire Police)

CRIMINALS are going underground to hide their cannabis farms – a meeting has been told.

The problem of drug grows being set up in vacant buildings was raised at a meeting of Bradford Council last week.

Councillor Aislin Naylor (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) told the Council a cannabis grow was recently discovered in her ward.

She said: “This resulted in a large number of police, ambulance and fire crews and others being deployed to deal with it. This led to emergency services being out of action while the services juggled their resources to maintain cover across the rest of the district.

"Does the Portfolio Holder agree that people who set up cannabis farms are putting others at risk and advise us of what more can he do to support already stretched partner emergency services?”

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Councillor Abdul Jabar, Executive for community safety, said: “Criminals are using ever more inventive ways to conceal cannabis grows – not just in rooms or dis-used buildings, but in the back of shops and even underground.

“With over 2.1 million adults nationally admitting to having used cannabis in 2020 there's been a steady rise in cannabis farming taking place in smaller, residential properties nationally. West Yorkshire Police have cracked down on cannabis farms in the Bradford district through ‘Programme Precision’, which targets the issue of drug supply and production. The programme also works to deter and prevent people from being involved in drug crime. Meanwhile, rehabilitation initiatives are in place for those caught up in the cycle of drugs and addiction who want to escape this lifestyle. The drain on police and other public service resources is significant."