Courtesy of the recession a lot of gangs are taking over abandoned cinemas, large warehouses, pubs and even banks to use as manufacturing plants for the one thing that it seems never goes out of business- the consumption of drugs.
DailyMail Co.Uk: Almost 7,000 cannabis factories were discovered last year – more than double the number found two years ago.
Incredibly, a report by chief constables says the gangs are growing so much cannabis that – for the first time – there is enough to start selling the drug overseas.
Which means if the demand for the good stuff is buoyant home it must be even more buoyant in a nascent world market. But there other other things going on as well…
Previously, the UK relied on smuggled supplies of the illegal drug, from countries such as Holland and Morocco, because homegrown crops did not meet demand.
The study, by the Association of Chief Police Officers, offers a disturbing insight into how cannabis farms have sprung up across the UK.
They are often run by immigrant gangs from the Far East, though there is evidence they are now joining forces with home-grown criminals.
They are employing children to grow the drug with powerful heat lamps, and also to break into farms run by rival gangs.
The properties are being booby-trapped – with window frames wired to the electricity mains.
Who doesn’t love a factory that is booby trapped? But then again with so much at stake…
The report, called the UK National Problem Profile: Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis, also found that criminals involved in the cannabis farms were involved in crimes such as counterfeiting currency and DVDs, money laundering, immigration crime, firearms, blackmail, prostitution, theft and people trafficking.
Reports of factories being ‘taxed’ by other criminals have led to criminals arming themselves with machetes and sawn-off shotguns.
Mmh, you could probably use a spliff now that you’ve read this right…?