It's the 'Special' Forces that Foiled Cannabis Crooks

Tuesday, 15 January, 2008

Bedfordshire Police Special Constables closed down six cannabis factories in as many months and disrupted production which could have netted offenders more than £1.6m a year.

According to figures just compiled, the plants were worth in the region of £210,000 and the hydroponics equipment seized from each factory was worth around £12-£15,000.

The warrants were executed between May and December by the Specials Tasking Team, a dedicated unit which operates on a forcewide basis and is led by Special Inspector Derek Grey.

The work illustrates how the Special Constabulary, which is entirely made up of volunteer officers who receive training from the force, plays a key role in the fight against crime.

It also highlights how the specials can free regular troops from important but time consuming tasks, since once a cannabis factory is raided there is much work to be done bagging and tagging plants for evidence and disposing of equipment.

Special Inspector Grey, who has been with the force more than 20 years, said: "I am very proud of my team and the results we have achieved. Most Specials have their own full-time jobs, yet give up their free time to help make Bedfordshire a safer place.

"We are always on the lookout for more Specials to join the constabulary and would urge anyone interested to get in touch. I can assure them the work is rarely dull - and always very rewarding."

Specials come from all walks of life and range from teachers to IT consultants to carpenters to farmers. In addition to the law, they learn skills such as leadership, conflict management and team building, much of which can be of use in their own jobs.

Regular open evenings are held for those interested in becoming Special Constables. To find out more telephone the Recruitment Team on 01234 842382, write to Recruitment Team, Bedfordshire Police Headquarters, Woburn Road, Kempston, Bedford MK43 9AX

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