Police have discovered a large cannabis farm where three children were being criminally exploited
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On Monday 14 October 2019, police entered a property on Livsey Street, Rochdale and discovered a large cannabis farm with an estimated street value of £850,000. Upon discovery, officers also found three children – aged between 15 and 17 – who were being criminally exploited to farm the cannabis plants.
Initial enquiries suggest that the three children had been trafficked from Vietnam into the UK.
They were found to be living in squalid conditions – with just three mattresses on the floor for them to sleep on.
The children had been living at the cannabis farm for a number of months and it is believed that measures were put in place by those exploiting the children to ensure they were unable to leave the premises in case they raised any suspicions.
The children are currently being supported by specially trained officers from GMP’S Child Criminal Exploitation team, as well as being helped by Children’s Social Care in Rochdale.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing to identify those responsible for producing the cannabis farm and exploiting the three children.
Challenger and Vulnerability Officer Philip Key, from GMP’s Rochdale district, said: “Tackling the exploitation of children is a priority for the police and we will do everything within our power to find those responsible and bring them into custody.
“Abusing vulnerable children for criminal gains is disgusting and our team is committed to dealing with this type of crime in all of its forms and making Rochdale – as well as Greater Manchester – a safer place.
“I want to ask that anybody with any information about this cannabis farm, or anybody who may be connected to it, to please contact us at the very earliest opportunity.”
Anyone who has any information about this should call police on 0161 856 8487, quoting incident number 1455 of 14/10/19.
Details can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.