Disclosure Details

Cannabis farms - 504/15

Dated: 09 Jul 2015

Date of request:       22/05/15

Date of response:    12/06/15

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 22 May 2015 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

Under the Freedom of Information Act, please could you provide me the number of cannabis farms detected in your area in each of the years, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, and 2014/15.

If possible please provide a breakdown for each year by local authority or basic command unit.

Please use the ACPO definition of commercial cannabis cultivation to define cannabis farms, as outlined in UK National Problem Profile, Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis 2012 (http://conferences.ncl.ac.uk/cfc/resources/UK%20CCC%20Problem%20Profile%202012.pdf) (see below). I am looking for the same information as in the table on pages 15 and 16 of that report, but for the four most recent years.

"Cultivation of cannabis should be regarded as 'commercial' if: 

Twenty- five or more cannabis plants, at any stage of growth (germination), are being or have been grown 
OR there is evidence of a 'cannabis farm' as defined below. 

The definition of a cannabis farm is: 
Any premises, whether commercial or residential, shall be deemed a cannabis farm if it has the following: 
The premises, or part therein, has been adapted to such an extent that normal usage would be inhibited and usually present within the premises, or part therein, are items solely concerned for the production of cannabis, i.e.:
Hydroponics system 
High intensity lighting 
Ventilation / Extraction fans 
Any other associated equipment, and / or Electricity meter bypassed (abstraction of electricity) 

The overall appearance of the venue, in combination with any available intelligence will provide an indication as to whether the site is, was, or is intended to be a cannabis farm. It is irrelevant how many plants are present on the site. For example, there may be no plants if the site has been made ready to commence cultivation. Alternatively the crop may have already been harvested and only the remnants of the harvested crop will be apparent. 

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Crime Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103
FOI 504-15