£130m of cannabis seized & Over 1,000 people arrested in UK Crackdown.

Liz Filmer
12 Jul 2023

Over 180,000 plants were seized in raids across England and Wales in June. Alongside the plants, a total of 20 firearms, £600,000 in cash and a whopping 20kg of cocaine were also confiscated. The operation has been called the "most significant" of its kind to be carried out by UK law enforcement.

Operation Mille targeted what law enforcement believes is the "easy money" for organised crime gangs involved in other offences, including money laundering, Class A drug smuggling and violence. 

A Class B drug, cannabis and its large-scale cultivation are seen as a key source of illicit income for criminal gangs. The month-long operation aimed to disrupt organised gangs by cutting off a main revenue, arresting those involved and obtaining intelligence on how the networks operate.

Steve Jupp, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Serious and Organised Crime, Overall the operation had been successful in disrupting a large portion of criminal activity". 

"We know that organised networks involved in cannabis production are also directly linked to other serious criminality such as Class A drug importation, modern slavery and wider violence and exploitation.
"The intelligence gathered will also help inform future law enforcement nationwide."

Around 11,000 officers from all 43 police forces in England and Wales, alongside the National Crime Agency and Immigration Enforcement, joined together to execute more than 1,000 warrants in June. 

Of the 1000-plus people arrested, more than 450 people have subsequently been charged.

Cannabis-related crime may be considered as 'low level' to many. Still, clear patterns exist concerning the exploitation and violence that organised crime groups employ to protect their enterprises," Mr Jupp added.

"We 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."

Liz Filmer