Dope farms facing scratch and sniff cannabis card crackdown
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal
scratch and sniff cannabis
Birmingham City Council has issued its residents with cannabis-scented scratch and sniff cards in a bid to tackle tenants who grow the drug in their social homes.
Produced in conjunction with West Midlands Police, the cards, which contain no actual cannabis, are being distributed to the residents of Druids Heath in Brandwood.
The cards also include a list of tell-tale signs of cannabis cultivation for residents to look out for, including:
• A strong and sickly sweet smell
• Constantly covered or blocked off windows
• High and constant lighting day and night
• Constant buzz of ventilation
• High levels of heat and condensation
Since October 2012 over 21 of the council's properties have been identified as cannabis farms with almost 20 residents evicted.
Selly Oak District chair, Cllr Karen McCarthy, said: “Cannabis is an illegal substance and we take a zero tolerance approach to those residents who cultivate it. As well as breaking the law, and leaving neighbours to endure its potent stench, this activity also causes other residents to lose out due to the cost of removing it.
“Extensive repairs have to be made to neighbouring homes that have been flooded by watering systems used for home-grown cannabis farms, which often include major electricity work to the dwelling. This money could be put towards other resources that benefit people in the local community.”
Karen Hunn, Sgt for the Brandwood neighbourhood team said: These farms are often run by organised criminals who bring crime and anti-social behaviour into local communities causing real harm and leaving people feeling unsafe.
“We will act on any genuine information that we receive from the community to stamp out drugs. We regularly raid cannabis farms, confiscate equipment and destroy the plants. Recently, the Brandwood police team has raided cannabis farms within private dwellings with an estimated street value of £232,200. This takes the grand total of cannabis taken out of circulation during the past twelve months to £431,100.”