top of page

East Midlands leading the way in national policing operation against organised crime

The East Midlands had one of the highest number of warrants in the country, following a national crackdown on Organised Crime Groups involved in drugs supply.

Almost 24,000 cannabis plants with a street value of between £6.58m - £19.74m, were seized from properties across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, as part of a national month of enforcement, aimed at unearthing and disrupting OCGs and their illegal revenue streams.

More than 130 people were arrested from over 110 warrants for a variety of offences including drug dealing, money laundering and possession of weapons.

Just under 50 charges were made as a result.

At a scale and pace not seen before, police across England and Wales coordinated 1000 search warrants against Organised Crime Groups (OCGs), arresting hundreds and seizing firearms, huge amounts of cash and cannabis plants nationally, worth approximately £115-£130 million.

Throughout June, Operation Mille saw criminal networks involved in drug dealing, money laundering and other violent offences targeted by police and partner agencies. Dedicated resources focused on tackling large-scale cannabis cultivations – a key source of illicit income for organised gangs.

The intensification period was designed to disrupt OCGs by taking out a key source of their revenue, while simultaneously apprehending many of those involved, safeguarding those being exploited, and increasing intelligence around how the networks operate.

Notable regional results from Operation Mille were:

· More than 110 warrants across the five forces

· More than 23,500 plants seized

· More than 130 arrests

· Almost 50 charges from those arrests

· Almost £39k in cash also seized during warrants.

All 43 police forces across England and Wales, working with Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and partner agencies, dedicated resources to target the criminal networks involved in cannabis production and other serious criminality.

Detective Superintendent Nick Waldram, who lead the regional response to the intensification, said: “To see the East Midlands in the top three regions nationally is something that we are extremely proud of, and will have a real impact on our communities.

“Each of the five forces worked incredibly hard and dedicated resources to find some fantastic results. It’s no doubt a lot of drugs didn’t make their way to their end location as a result of this.

“The links between serious crime and those involved in cannabis cultivation are clear, with the drugs trade fuelling gang violence as groups compete for territory and look to hunt out their opposition.

“Thanks to this month of enforcement, there has been some serious disruption caused to OCGs in our communities. This level of criminality can affect people at all levels, production can be directly linked to an array of other serious criminality such as class A drug importation, modern slavery and wider violence and exploitation.

“This operation not only successfully disrupted a significant amount of criminal activity, but the intelligence gathered will also help inform future law enforcement across the country.”

Cannabis factories also present a very real local threat.

The size of criminal cannabis ‘factories’ means that damage is often caused to the properties themselves; the buildings can become dangerous as a result of fire risks, unlawful abstraction of electricity, fumes and water damage.

Anyone with information about a potential cannabis factory or drug dealing can contact their local force online or via 101.

People can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via

There are some key signs to spot a property could be being used as a cannabis factory:

  • Frequent visitors to a property at unsocial hours, throughout the day and night.

  • Blacked out windows or condensation on the windows, even when it is not cold outside.

  • Bright lights in rooms throughout the night.

  • Electricity meters being tampered with/altered and new cabling, sometimes leading to street lighting. High electricity bills could also be an indicator.

  • A powerful, distinctive, sweet, sickly aroma and noise from fans.

  • Lots of work or deliveries of equipment to an address, particularly those associated with growing plants indoors without soil such as heaters and lighting.

  • An excessive amount of plant pots, chemicals, fertilisers, and compost.


bottom of page