A photo of a small number of cannabis plants confiscated by Chichester police and posted on Facebook.

A photo of a small number of cannabis plants confiscated by Chichester police and posted on Facebook.

By Chris Bovey

From time to time we post details of a daft police bust posted on Facebook by a some local rozzers who are very proud of their achievements.

These can range from a bust for a spliff’s worth of weed to a tiny little grow-up, certainly nothing the size of that being grown by the Tory Drug’s Minister’s husband.

The police are obviously looking for publicity when they make such posts, so we are happy to oblige. We like to share their glory and invite commenters in our Social Media network of pages that has a reach in the region of a quarter of a million to leave their thoughts.

Unfortunately, for the police, the kind of people who like our pages tend not to be the type who, after years of Tory austerity and the savage cuts to police numbers that came with it, will be impressed by the police wasting money on a harmless medically beneficial plant.

Some forces have, such as Durham or North Wales, have taken the decision not to seek prosecution for low-level possession and small grows, but they are only two of four Police Forces in Britain that have chosen this more liberal approach to cannabis policing.

The small cathedral city of Chichester, part of Sussex police, is the latest force to make fools of themselves by posting on Facebook a really corny plea for the person who grew a few cannabis plants they had found to give themselves up (potentially risking 14 years imprisonment).

“If you are the owner, we would love it if you could spare some ‘thyme’ and pop in to see us or ‘leaf’ us a message. We will then arrange a reunion in one of our custody cells.”

They are as good at comedy as they are at prioritising their scarce resources.

Naturally, as civic-minded people, we are more than happy to share any daft police busts or appeal for information on our much larger social media network to send them some commenters.

You’d think they’d learn. Don’t publicly boast about wasting police resources enforcing a law the majority of people in this country do not agree with that criminalises a plant which is consumed by millions of Brits, legal or not.

The Chichester police post was no different, last time I checked it had 420 shares, which made me chuckle, nearly 1,000 comments and over 600 reactions.

Screenshot of no shares of Chichester Police cannabis seizure Facebook share.

Chichester Police’s daft police bust boast on Facebook gets 420 shares.

As usual, they were not being lavished with praise in the comments, even former serving cop, Neil Woods from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition UK (LEAP UK) asked them if they had read this article that argued such seizures, no matter how impressive they look for the cameras, make absolutely no difference to the actual supply of drugs. All they are doing is showing evidence of activity—any activity—not reducing crime.

Not many comments were left praising the boys in blue

John Turbefield, who is from Chichester had this to say:

Facebook comment by John Turnfield on Chichester Police's Facebook page.

John Turnfield tries to educate Chichester Police.

I thought I’d chip in myself with a comment and John Smith from London suggested they give out weed free in London so locals would be too stoned to go about stabbing people

Facebook comment by Chris Bovey on Chichester Police's Facebook page boasting about finding a few weed plants.

The comments were open so I decided to tell them what I thought of their shitty weed seizure.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (P.S.N.I.) find bigger fry

The P.S.N.I. actually found more than a few joints worth of cannabis, claiming to be worth over half a million pounds, although police valuations of drug bus seizures are often notoriously over-inflated. In nothing compared to the amount Skunk# 1 in Norfolk that is being legally grown and sold by the husbands of the PM and her Drugs Minister for huge profits after their wives granted them Home Office licenses to grow weed.

Their bragging on Facebook didn’t go down well either. That’s had over 1,400 reactions, 700+ comments and now over 420 shares. Shit, I just missed the 420 screenshot by one share.

421 shares of Police Service of Northern IrelandNI

Shit, I clicked refresh and missed the 420 screenshot. 421 shares it is then.

Feed the Birds’ Trev Coleman decided to try to educate the P.S.N.I. about the benefits of cannabis and hemp with a bit of help from activist Peader Robinson who lives in Belfast.

Trev Coleman and Peader Robinson try to educate the P.S.N.I.

Unusually, the P.S.N.I. tried to defend their actions saying they didn’t make the laws, but failed to explain why other police forces felt it within themselves to not give cannabis a high priority.

P.S.N.I. argues the case for cannabis law reform

They then put forward an argument for legalisation in a taxed and regulated market by pointing out drug money that is often produced by violent criminal gangs is used to buy bullets that end up on the streets of Belfast.

P.S.N.I. defend cannabis policing on Facebook.

The P.S.N.I inadvertently argues the case for legalisation of cannabis on their Facebook page.

To my friends at the P.S.N.I. if you are worried about drug money and the associated crime that goes with it then they should join other police forces in the UK calling for the government to end these daft laws prohibiting cannabis for adults.

In the meantime, we’ll keep naming and shaming when the police boast about weed busts. Please get in touch with us via our Facebook page if you see a daft police bust being bragged about on Social Media and we’ll happily give them more publicity.

Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, artist, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @ADHD_BadBoy.

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