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Five held after Bristol cannabis farm raids

More than 130 cannabis plants and £3,000 in cash were seized following the raids in Newtown and St George during the last seven days

Five people in Bristol have been arrested after raids on cannabis farms across the city, Avon and Somerset police have said.

More than 130 cannabis plants and £3,000 in cash were seized following the raids in Newtown and St George during the last seven days.

During the first raid in Newtown last week, police uncovered 107 cannabis plants and more than £3,000 in cash. Three men were arrested in connection with possession with intent to supply illegal drugs – one in his early 20s and two aged in their 50s.

The second took place in St George this week where 24 plants were uncovered, along with a small amount of class A drugs and cash were found. A 23-year-old man and 39-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of possession of illegal drugs.

Chief Inspector Debbie Palmer-Lawrence said: “We are very pleased to have seized a significant amount of drugs that otherwise could have ended up doing harm to people out on the streets of Bristol.

“We could not do it without the support of residents who come to our neighbourhood teams with the vital information we need to carry out warrants.

“Drug dealing and production will not be tolerated in Avon and Somerset and we will be relentless in pursuing those who think they can blight our communities, put them before the courts and bring them to justice.”

The raids came in the week it emerged more than 650 cannabis farms were discovered in the force area in the last year.

More than 20 cannabis farms and factories were discovered by police across the UK every day last year as they seized drugs which could sell for £100 million on the streets.

Senior police chiefs said the size and scale of the farms were reducing as criminals producing cannabis were spreading the risk and minimising losses by employing a large number of so-called gardeners to manage small sites across multiple residential areas.

The report from the Association of Chief Police Officers said the UK is at “significant risk” from criminal gangs who cultivate cannabis on a commercial scale.

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