Shropshire Star

Why one team of Telford crime fighters won't stop at £3m of cannabis taken off the streets

As one crime-fighting team in Telford celebrates taking down their 19th cannabis grow, we look back on some of their success over the last seven months.

The team have undertaken 19 raids on cannabis farms around Telford

Last year, four new Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Teams were set up across the West Mercia policing area.

Following the success of Shropshire and South Worcester teams since its formation in July last year, Telford's Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Team was formed alongside one in North Worcester in October, in a bid to reduce levels of high-impact crimes such as anti-social behaviour, drugs, major thefts, and criminal damage.

While the teams across West Mercia have had success targetting a wide range of crime, the Telford team have made great strides in taking down some of the town's cannabis factories.

Within six months of the team's first raid in December last year, the team had executed 19 drug warrants on properties around Telford, taking £2,837,629 worth of the drugs off the streets.

Those raids have resulted in the arrest of 15 people, eight of whom have been charged, while others are subject to ongoing investigations.

Sergeant Matt Corfield, who leads the team, said that people often don't take cannabis as seriously as other drugs, but the grows are a major funding source for organised crime groups.

One of the Telford team, PC Kieran Gale, added: “Cannabis farms are often linked to serious and organised crime gangs. The drugs they sell have a negative impact on our communities and can lead to other criminality, or the harm and exploitation of vulnerable people.

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