HAMPSHIRE Crimestoppers will be sending out thousands of ‘Scratch and Sniff’ cards to addresses in areas across Hampshire in a bid to increase public awareness of the amount of cannabis being grown in the community on an industrial scale.

The campaign is not targeting individual growers but criminal gangs who rent domestic properties and turn them into cannabis factories by hijacking the electrical supply, stripping out all the rooms for plants and often using trafficked people – many of them minors – to undertake their work.

Organised criminals from home and abroad see cannabis cultivation in this country as a low risk, high profit venture, and use it to fund a range of other criminal activities such as trafficking, gun crime and Class A drugs.

There is clear evidence that serious and organised criminal groups are using cannabis cultivation as a means to further their criminal activity.

The cards – which contain no harmful ingredients – give off the sickly sweet smell to which the public should be alert.