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 Cannabis seizures in Somerset 'more than double'

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PostSubject: Cannabis seizures in Somerset 'more than double'   Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:03 am

Cannabis seizures in Somerset 'more than double'

The amount of home-grown cannabis seized by police in Somerset more than doubled in a year, a BBC investigation has revealed.

Police found more than 3,000 plants in the county in 2008 and 7,347 in 2009 - an increase of about 130%.

They said there has been a rise in small cannabis factories. One room can hold up to 49 plants and a single cannabis plant can make up to 1,000.

Police said the rise in seizures was partly due to better detection work.

Det Sgt Peter Frake, of Avon and Somerset Police, said the internet has made it easy for people to buy growing equipment and seeds.

He said: "Most of it's over the internet because it can be done very quickly.

'Social growers'

"For 100 you could get started with a few plants, which would pay for themselves very, very quickly.

"A good quality cannabis plant is around about 1,000 and bearing in mind, once that has grown, you can take cuttings from that plant to grow your next plant.

"Your overheads are coming down all the time and your profits are going up."

Ceri Hewitt, an intelligence analyst with Avon and Somerset Police, said the factories were small and growers tended to sell the drug to their friends.

She said: "The rise, we think, is down to what we call social growers. So it's people who are growing cannabis for themselves and also their small circle of friends.

"So they're using it for themselves rather than to sell it on to the wider community."

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