Police give out cannabis scratch-and-sniff cards to help neighbours spot drugs farms

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SCRATCH and sniff cannabis cards will be handed out by police as they educate people on how to suss out where the drug is being grown.

Durham Constabulary is among the forces to back the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers as it runs the second phase of its campaign.

The charity says gangs often use rented homes and can bring crime into communities including gun, power theft and human trafficking.

During the first run of the campaign in March 2013, it saw a 29 per cent rise in the amount of information it received about cultivation and given 800 pieces of information about cannabis-related crime, a 59 per cent rise on the previous seven days.

Crimestoppers’ North East regional manager Dave Hunter said: “The scratch and sniff cards were well received last year, a fact that was supported by the increase in information we received in the weeks after the campaign launched.

“We’re not looking to target individual users, we’re looking at something much bigger here, something much more dangerous, and we are targeting serious and organised crime groups who are involved in this illicit trade.”