Cannabis offences on the rise across Bradford district

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: West Yorkshire Police drugs co-ordinator Bryan Dent West Yorkshire Police drugs co-ordinator Bryan Dent

Cannabis offences in the Bradford district have risen sharply, while the number has fallen in other parts of West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Police figures, revealed in a Freedom of Information request, show that cannabis offences in the district climbed from 743 in the year from April 2010 to March 2011, to 888 for 2012-13 – a rise of more than 20 per cent.

The figures cover a range of offences, from simple possession of cannabis, to possession with intent to supply, supply or offering to supply, production or being concerned in the production of cannabis, and permitting premises to be used for unlawful purpose.

The number of offences in Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield fell in 2012-13 compared to the previous year.

Bryan Dent, West Yorkshire Police’s force drugs co-ordinator, said help from the public in Bradford in tackling drugs offences had always been a strong characteristic.

“Historically, from when Dob in a Dealer started, the public of Bradford has interacted with police to tell us about things, and there has always been a dedicated drugs team in Bradford,” Mr Dent said.

“We do take cannabis offences seriously and we are not going to turn a blind eye to them. These figures may be indicative of our willingness to listen to, and act upon, information received from members of the public about cannabis offences.

“All drugs use is a concern, from a community safety point of view. We want to make West Yorkshire residents feel safe and for West Yorkshire to be a safe place. Any drugs offences eat at that. That is why we will not turn a blind eye to cannabis offences.”

Bradford councillor Michael Walls (Con, Queensbury), a member of West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, said the cultivation of cannabis was rife in Queensbury.

He said: “The figures are worrying, compared with other places in the county. But I don’t think that overall the number of people involved should be higher in Bradford. I think that police in Bradford are perhaps better at catching them.”

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