Scratch and sniff drug cards ‘increase’ farm detections


Scratch and sniff cards to help people detect cannabis farms have resulted in a 28% increase in reports of cultivation, Crimestoppers said.

More than 200,000 cards were issued by the charity to hotspots including London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire and Avon and Somerset . The cards release a scent that replicates the growing plant to help people identify the smell of cannabis.

The initiative was inspired by a pilot set up in Holland three years ago.The three-month campaign was launched by Crimestoppers in March.  Since then the crime-fighting charity said it had received more than 3,500 pieces of information from the public on cannabis cultivation – a 28% increase on the same period last year.

‘Innovative ways’

Using the information generated, the Metropolitan Police seized more than £2.1m worth of the drug and closed down 34 cannabis factories.

Merseyside Police received a 56% increase in pieces of intelligence in the first month of the campaign and at least 25 cannabis farms were identified.

Whilst South Yorkshire Police seized £89,000 worth of cannabis plants and made 15 arrests.

Mark Hallas, the charity’s chief executive, said the organisation’s commitment to fighting crime had “never been stronger”.  “We continue to be proactive and determined in exploring new and innovative ways to educate, empower and encourage the UK public to put their trust in Crimestoppers,” he said.

“Working with communities and government agencies, we believe Crimestoppers to be a truly effective crime-fighting charity that will continue to have a highly significant and successful impact on keeping communities safe.”

Source: BBC News  22nd Oct. 2013

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