South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway drug crop value approaches £1m

Cannabis plant
Image caption The value of drugs seized since April this year has exceeded £850,000

Drug crops worth more than £850,000 have been seized in Dumfries and Galloway in the past six months.

The total equates to a little more than 3,000 cannabis plants - the bulk of which were found in an illicit factory in a disused Wigtownshire hotel.

The details have been disclosed as new figures show drug cultivation crimes in the region have more than quadrupled in the past 10 years.

Police said the figures reflected their efforts and increased public awareness.

Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary seized cannabis crops worth just over £1m in the financial year 2009/10.

Since April this year they have already found plants with a potential street value of £857,360.

One of the most significant discoveries was at a disused hotel in Galloway in June.

Scottish government figures show the number of such incidents has risen steadily in the past decade.

There were four crimes of cultivation or production of drugs recorded by police in the region in 2000/01 but that had increased to 19 last year.

Det Con Scott Jardine said most of the incidents were linked to East Asian crime gangs.

"We have got a multi-agency team looking at these organised crime groups," he said.

"We are looking at their assets and day-to-day activities and obviously targeting these groups."

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