£3m of cannabis seized in Somerset

Avon and Somerset Police have joined five police forces in the South West in a major operation. Operation Scorpion is the south west’s ongoing work to target and disrupt organised crime groups involved in drug supply. The operation targets organised crime groups (OCGs) involved in cannabis cultivation. Cannabis cultivation is frequently linked to serious and organised criminal networks. As well as supplying cannabis they engage in a broad range of criminal activity. This includes supplying class A drugs, exploitation, human trafficking, and serious violence.

Police say that aside from the criminal aspect, cannabis grows also pose a very real threat to local communities. Properties used for this purpose can become dangerous as a result of fire risks, unlawful abstraction of electricity, and fumes. They also usually fuel increased crime rates in the surrounding area.

Police officers across the force area have carried out a number of warrants as part of the operation. The warrants were to search properties believed to be growing cannabis for illegal profit. In the latest update on the operation Avon & Somerset officers reportedly:

  • Seized 6,368 cannabis plants (357kg) worth an estimated £3.25 million
  • Carried out 20 warrants on properties believed to be used for growing cannabis
  • Made 20 arrests, with 6 people charged for offences related to illegal drug activity, and 9 still under investigation
  • Seized a number of bladed weapons

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford, said: “This operation has seen a huge effort by all five regional forces working to ensure the South West is no place for drugs and this work will continue.”

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