Cannabis worth £2 million seized in month of police action across county
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We have made 25 arrests and seized cannabis plants worth more than £2 million in a month-long national operation combatting the criminal networks behind organised cannabis cultivation.
Throughout June, police forces across England and Wales supported Operation Mille and executed over 1,000 warrants against organised crime at a scale and pace never seen before.
In Bedfordshire, officers carried out 16 search warrants, resulting in 25 people arrested and 4,397 cannabis plants seized.
In addition, £125,000 in cash, half a kilogramme of cocaine, two combat-style knives and one imitation firearm was also seized, as well as two luxury cars.
The operation aimed to disrupt organised crime group (OCG) activity by targeting mass cannabis production, a key source of their illicit income.
The link between serious organised crime and those involved in cannabis cultivation is clear, with the drugs trade fuelling gang violence as groups compete for territory and drive out their opposition.
Earlier this year, three men were jailed for more than 26 years after an attempted burglary at a cannabis factory triggered a violent clash.
The intensification period allowed police to apprehend those involved in organised cannabis cultivation and safeguard those being exploited, while also increasing intelligence around how the networks operate.
Detective Chief Inspector James Panter, Bedfordshire Police’s lead investigator into serious and organised crime, said: “Operation Mille has been a success for us in Bedfordshire and UK policing more widely, not just through the items seized but also the intelligence we’ve gained to help target those involved in criminal networks in our county.
“Although the operation has come to an end, this doesn’t mean our work is done. We will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in the illegal drug trade, which we know is the driving force behind an array of criminality including senseless violence and exploitation in our county – it’s not just a bit of weed.”
Anyone with information about a potential cannabis factory or drug dealing can contact us online or via 101.