UK Police are making 358 cannabis seizures a day.
New figures have revealed that British Police are making 358 cannabis seizures a day; that's one every 4 minutes! Cannabis Drug busts are at their highest level in six years due to a sharp rise in the number of "stop and search" procedures carried out on the streets by officers.
Official Home Office Figures report that Cannabis was the most commonly discovered drug during Police Searches. Quantities were found in a whopping 71% of all Drug seizures carried out in England and Wales between March 2019-March 2020.
In the same period, Police busts of Cannabis Flower rose 22% and resin by 20%. Additionally, the police raided 8,984 cannabis farms, recovering 490,254 plants. This was a rise of more than 25% in the previous year. The figures also revealed that West Yorkshire Police carried out the highest number of investigations concerning "energy theft" for the purposes of cannabis cultivation. They investigated a total of 211 cases during 2020.
West Midlands Force was not far behind with 136 investigations, followed by Lancashire Constabulary with 110 cases. These three regions alone account for 55% of all investigations into electricity theft for cannabis cultivation. Only this year, West Midlands Police raided what they described as the most significant cannabis farm they had ever found. The £6.5million farm had more than 6,000 plants growing in 40 rooms in a property in Walsall. Overall, West Midlands Police recovered nearly £90 million worth of Cannabis in seizures over the last 12 months. The National Crime Agency's recent assessment of serious organised crime revealed that Cannabis is Britains single biggest drug market. 2.4 billion pounds worth is being consumed annually in England and Wales.
New figures have also emerged revealing the extent of electricity being stolen to power illegal cannabis farms. Official data compiled by "Direct Line Business Insurance" has shown that 48% of police investigations into energy theft are thought to be connected with the cultivation of Cannabis.
The increase in cannabis cultivation has also fuelled a sharp rise in landlord claims for damaged rented property. Analysis of claims shows that the hotspots appear to be Birmingham, Solihull, London and Taunton. According to these findings, 12% or 1 in 9 landlords have submitted an insurance claim for "malicious damage" due to issues caused by their tenants growing cannabis plants. The damage it would appear can be pretty costly, too, with the average claim coming in at £9,471. The most common types of damage appear to be mould and water damage from the hydroponic and irrigation systems that have been used.
These figures are based on March 2019-March 2020. The UK went into COVID lockdown on March 23rd 2020. It will be fascinating to see how the lockdown period and the pandemic affect the figures for March 2020-March 2021.