AROUND £84million of cannabis was seized from more than 250 drugs farms in the region last year.
The figure has been revealed by West Midlands Police which said it is continuing to “strike” against organised crime gangs believed to be behind most of the cannabis factories.
The force said most of these industrial-size cannabis production set-ups were linked to organised crime gangs who are making big money on the back of others’ suffering.
It added that officers often find people have been trafficked here illegally to tend the crop, living in squalid conditions in the drugs dens, while children or vulnerable people are used to deal drugs.
The force also issued a warning about the danger of bypassing power supplies, a common tactic for supplying the electricity needed at cannabis factories, where dangerous wiring can be a serious fire hazard and lead to the set-up going up in flames.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Dale from the Serious Organised Crime and Exploitation team said: “We’re not talking about some recreational drug use here – this is top-level organised criminality, linked to exploitation and violence.
“The cannabis factories can be in industrial units or disused factories but often we find them in residential streets surrounded by family homes or even near schools.
“They are a magnet for anti-social behaviour and crime.”
Anyone who suspects a property is being used to deal or produce drugs should contact police online at https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/ or call 101 alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.