Full article published on the Vice website, 11th August 2016.
West Midlands Cannabis Capital of the UK
If you needed another reason to quit selling weed other than your annoying hippy clients and the constant, debilitating paranoia that comes with being a dealer, you should know that the cops are probably already onto you – especially if you live in the West Midlands. According to a new survey, West Midlands Police seized 54,711 cannabis plants during the 2014/15 financial year, around 2,500 more than the previous year.
The region as a whole, including police forces in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and West Mercia, shamed the rest of the nation’s efforts, with a total of 69,803 plants seized between April 2014 and March 2015. Coming in at a not-so-close second place, cops in the north west – including the likes of Merseyside and Greater Manchester – seized 48,503 plants. The Met Police only managed to find 38,369 plants, compared with 59,002 the year before, effectively stripping London of its status as the nation’s cannabis capital.
On the significant increase in successful raids, West Midlands Police’s cannabis disposal team manager, Mike Hall, told the Coventry Telegraph: “The effects of drug use and supply can be far reaching across a community and they are often linked to other types of crime in a neighbourhood. We regularly carry out raids at premises suspected to be housing these cannabis set-ups – and much of the time information that we act on is provided by people living in the local area.”
Nick Breton, head of Direct Line for Business, said he hoped the new figures would show that cannabis farming is “still a big problem in England and Wales”. According to the firm, 366,841 cannabis plants were seized across the whole of England and Wales over the course of the 12-month period. Say a prayer for all the dealers who lost their painstakingly cultivated weed in the raids. Those grow kits aren’t cheap, you know.