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Police drug seizures help church

16 May 2014

West Midlands Police

Community payback: the Revd Sarah Schofield, Mark Allcock (front, right), and volunteers at All Saints', Wolverhampton, prepare to use gardening items donated by the Cannabis Disposal Team

Community payback: the Revd Sarah Schofield, Mark Allcock (front, right), and volunteers at All Saints', Wolverhampton, prepare to use gardening ite...

THE memorial garden of a church in Wolverhampton is to benefit from an unusual donation - gardening and cultivation equipment, seized from cannabis producers.

West Midlands Police have seized 200 tons of cannabis, as well as 20,000 litres of compost and fertiliser, and thousands of plant pots, gardening tools, irrigation equipment, and lighting and heat lamps, from 1500 cannabis farms since its Cannabis Disposal Team was formed in 2010.

The cannabis plants are destroyed, and the cultivation equipment would have ended up in landfill sites, but officers decided to donate it to charitable causes.

All Saints', Wolverhampton, has received 700 litres of compost, as well as assorted tools and equipment.

"We have a memorial garden behind the church that is maintained by community groups and children; so the donation will really help," the Team Vicar of Central Wolverhampton, the Revd Sarah Schofield, said. "The water butts will be particularly handy: there's no water supply to the garden; so they'll save our backs lugging watering cans back and forth.

"We've also been given gardening equipment, a ladder, and hosepipes, which will be put in our community tool-library, where equipment can be taken out, free, by All Saints' residents."

The Cannabis Disposal Team is called in to dismantle commercial-scale drugs-production facilities that involve extensive heat, lighting, and hydroponics set-ups.

"It would be a shame to simply destroy all the gardening paraphernalia; so . . . we donate what we can to good causes," the team's manager, Mike Hall, said. "I personally like the idea of seized criminal assets' helping community projects."

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