‘Scratch and sniff’ cannabis campaign launched in Herts

Felix, Oscar and Diane Elliot and Dorothy Hart sniff the card

Felix, Oscar and Diane Elliot and Dorothy Hart sniff the card - Credit: Archant

A CAMPAIGN has being launched to tackle the growing problem of cannabis cultivation in the county.

Amanda Vale, Rachel Vale and Julie Lucas with the scratch and sniff card

Amanda Vale, Rachel Vale and Julie Lucas with the scratch and sniff card - Credit: Archant

In a bid to stop a rise in cannabis factories, Crimestoppers and Herts Police have distributed “scratch and sniff” cards to the public.

The cards contain an element that replicates the smell of cannabis in its growing state and police hope it will help people spot and detect drug factories.

When the Comet took to the streets to test them, most people did not recognise the smell.

Of 10 people questioned only two teenagers were able to identify the odour.


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Amanda Vale, 49, of Stevenage, thought it smelled of cut grass while daughter Rachel, 21 thought it might be an algae.

And the Elliot family from Hitchin thought it had a rather woody smell like damp cardboard.

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Crimestoppers director of operations Roger Critchell said: “We are distributing scratch and sniff cards because not many people know how to recognise the signs of cannabis cultivation happening in their neighbourhood. Many are also not familiar with the established links between this crime and serious organised crime. Cannabis farms make everyone a victim.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers lead for drugs, Andy Bliss, added: “Closing down cannabis farms and arresting the criminals who run and organise them is a key focus in drugs policing. This is because we recognise that these farms, often run by organised criminals, bring crime and anti-social behaviour into local communities causing real harm and leaving people feeling unsafe.”

Signs include a strong and sickly sweet smell, constantly covered or blocked off windows, visitors at unsociable hours, strong and constant lighting day and night and high levels of heat and condensation.

Crimestoppers is asking members of the public to pass on any information about cannabis farms anonymously by telephoning 0800 555 111 or via an anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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