Between Monday and yesterday (the first two days of this year’s Cannabis Eradication Program (CEP), police ripped up more than 1,200 cannabis plants from bushland around Uki.
The new commander of the NSW Drug Squad, detective superintendent Tony Cooke, said many of the plants seized had been located in thick, dense bushland.
‘We’ve had to trek into dense terrain to get some of these plants,’ Detective Superintendent Cooke said.
‘Because of the success of previous cannabis eradication programs, cannabis growers have been forced to plant smaller crops in deeper and denser sections of bushland than once was the case.
‘If you go back 15 years, the crops we were finding contained thousands of plants.
‘Nowadays, with growers desperately trying to avoid police detection, the crops are far more likely to be numbered in the dozens.
This week’s operation continues until Friday, when all the plants seized will be destroyed.
Officers from the SCC Drug Squad, the Dog Unit, the Aviation Support Branch (ASB), Metropolitan Radio Network Services and the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command are managing this week’s round.
The CEP has been running since the mid-1980s and, to date, has prevented cannabis with an estimated potential street value of more than $250 million reaching NSW streets, according to police.
The CEP is generally operational during cannabis growing season, which stretches from the late spring through summer and into early autumn.
Police ask that anyone with information concerning the growth, manufacture or distribution of illicit drugs contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.