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Cannabis Operation Nets More Than Previous Years

Successful National Cannabis Operation Nets More Than Previous Years.
New Zealand Police National News Release
9:57am 1 December 2008
Good flying weather and targeted flying using intelligence gathered throughout the year netted excellent results for Operation Julia, the 2007/08 National Cannabis Crime Operation (NCCO).

The total number of cannabis plants destroyed during 2007 /2008 increased by nearly 25% from 2006/2007 and also exceeded the results achieved in each of the last 5 years.

Detective Senior Sergeant Scott McGill, National Coordinator: National Cannabis Crime Operations, says the operation targets commercial cultivators and distributors of cannabis and invariably results the apprehension of offenders involved in organised criminal activity.

Operation JULIA, carried out during the 2007 - 2008 growing season resulted in:

* Approx 124,000 plants destroyed

* 780 offenders arrested

* 147 firearms seized

* Estimated $439,000 stolen property recovered

* 216 kilograms dried cannabis plant material seized / destroyed

* 9 Methamphetamine Laboratories located

During the operation over 640 searches were conducted which led to a record number of arrests, Firearms seized and stolen property recovered demonstrating that the National Cannabis Crime Operation is a "whole of crime" operation targeting those that cultivate, distribute and use cannabis as the gateway drug to other criminal activities.

Based on the recently developed New Zealand Drug Harm Index the total socio economic harm to the community saved by Police from the destroyed cannabis plants is estimated at $333,598,050 (based on a conservative yield of 8oz of cannabis per plant). When added together with the cannabis destroyed on the ground (216 kilograms) this means that the National Cannabis and Crime Operation has avoided $336,144,690 of socio economic harm to New Zealand communities.

Mr McGill said the results show the commitment and dedication that Police staff around the country has to reducing the harmful effects of illicit drugs in our community.

"The operation would not have been such a success without the assistance of the public, who make a major contribution by providing valuable information to the operation each year, which leads to plots being located and offenders arrested.

Planning for next years operation has begun. Public with information about cannabis cultivation are encouraged to contact their local police station in confidence. "Police intend to continue their efforts to reduce the availability of cannabis and associated drugs within New Zealand, resulting in safer communities", says Mr McGill.


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