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Police to hand out scratch and sniff cannabis cards
Scratch-and-sniff cards loaded with the scent of cannabis are being handed out by police to help residents identify dope farms in their area.
Today’s drive, the second phase of a campaign launched last year, aims to educate the public about how growing plants smell so they can alert police.
It is hoped to have a knock-on effect on other crimes, such as human trafficking and possession of weapons.
Det Supt Kath Barnes, of Hampshire Police — one of 17 forces across England and Wales taking part in the initiative — said: ‘Cannabis is often seen as harmless and somehow acceptable. This is just not the case.
‘It’s harmful to use and many people, including children, across the world are exploited in furtherance of its trade.’ About a fifth of trafficking victims thought to have been criminally exploited were forced into helping grow the drug in 2012, according to the UK Human Trafficking Centre.
Meanwhile, Ofgem revealed last summer that a third of energy theft costs were because of weed farms.
The cards also highlight telltale signs that a property is being used to grow cannabis, such as constantly covered windows or strong lighting being left on.
National police lead for cannabis Ch Supt Bill Jephson said: ‘I would urge everyone to act as our eyes and ears or, in this case, our noses to sniff out criminals.’
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