A UNIQUE initiative is being launched to try to tackle the rise of cannabis misuse and cultivation with the release of special ‘scratch and sniff’ cards to help the public spot its pungent odour.
Independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers is teaming up with police in Burton and South Derbyshire to distribute the cards to the public, to educate and inform them about the signs to spot and the specific smell of cannabis when it is growing.
The scheme is not only designed to try to reduce the level of cannabis on the streets, but also to try to assist members of the public in noticing where the drug is being grown so they can report it to the police.
Pauline Hadley, Crimestoppers regional manager for West Midlands and Staffordshire, said: “There are mothers and neighbours who know what’s going on in their areas and feel they cannot tell anyone.
“We are giving people the chance to give information to the charity about serious organised criminals who are making their lives hell.
“They can call us without anyone knowing who they are.
“Their call is not even recorded anywhere, including on their own phone bills.
“We can then pass their information on to help get the serious criminals off the streets.”
Founder and chairman of Crimestoppers Lord Ashcroft (pictured) said: “Quite often, those running cannabis cultivation operations are also involved in other serious and organised crime, such as human trafficking and possession of weapons.
“So I would urge the public to contact Crimestoppers in order to try to keep their communities free from cannabis farms.”
Crimestoppers wants members of the public to pass on any information they may have about cannabis farms.
They can do this anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or via an anonymous online form found at www.crimestoppers-uk.org