Four people have been arrested and £200,000 worth of cannabis plants seized after a large scale factory was found in Leighton Buzzard.
The Central Bedfordshire Community Policing team executed a warrant on Friday, February 26, at an industrial unit in Grovebury Road and arrested four people on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis.
Officers found four rooms full of cannabis plants over five feet tall and worth an estimated street value of £200,000.
Community officers worked closely with our Crime Investigation Team to develop intelligence and disrupt the professional operation, following concerns from local residents.
Two men in their 20s, a man in his 30s and a man in his 40s were taken into police custody for questioning and have since been released under investigation.
Chief Inspector Lee Haines, from the Central Community team said: “It can be easy to think that a Class B drug like cannabis has little impact on a community. However, drugs, no matter what type, can have a devastating effect on the local area and drives much of the exploitation and anti-social behaviour that blights our communities.
“Our community policing officers deal with the issues that matter most to our local residents and that isn’t just traditional neighbourhood issues anymore, we are also tackling serious organised crime that hides within Bedfordshire.”
Detective Inspector Nick Gardner from Bedfordshire Police’s Crime Investigation Team said: “By destroying and disrupting this operation, we can help protect people from falling victim to other crimes as a result of this, such as exploitation and gang violence, which we often see from the distribution of drugs.”
Organised criminal gangs use drugs as their main source of income, and growing and selling cannabis is a key part of this business model. It is relatively cheap to produce and there are thousands of customers in Bedfordshire alone to sell to. A drugs market profile in Bedfordshire carried out in 2019 found that there were 34,000 users of illegal drugs in Bedfordshire, and across the county people were estimated to be spending around £59 million on cannabis every year.
Officers are seeing more young people involved in the illicit drugs market in the county, some not even in their teens. Dealing cannabis is a gateway for children to start committing crime. If you are concerned about reports of drug dealing in your area, or if you think someone may be being exploited, you can tell us online.
To find out more about how we are tackling drugs in Bedfordshire, and the support available, visit our website.