A total of 733 production of cannabis offences were recorded by the force in 2014 in Greater Manchester

More than 700 cannabis farms were discovered by police in Greater Manchester last year, new figures reveal.

A total of 733 production of cannabis offences were recorded by the force in 2014 – an average of more than 60 a month.

But the number is the lowest in three years, according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, which show 879 people were caught cultivating cannabis in 2013, while 1,070 were collared in 2012.

Salford East had the highest number of production offences in Greater Manchester in 2014 with 62. The number was up from 54 the year before, but down from 85 in 2012.

However Didsbury had the lowest in the region with just 4 people caught growing an illicit crop of the class B drug last year, down from 21 in 2013.

Elsewhere in the region there were 48 recorded in Manchester North, 46 in Manchester East, 19 in Longsight and 13 in Fallowfield in 2014.

However, in Bolton the number of offences rose to 24 in 2014 from 21 the year before. In 2012 the total was 16.

One of the biggest cannabis farms discovered in Greater Manchester was at a sprawling five-bed woodland house which had been converted into a secret £400k cannabis farm.

Police raided the converted railway station master’s house in leafy Worsley in July after a tip-off from the public and discovered a sophisticated drugs operation.Almost the entire upstairs of the £770,000 house was packed with around 650 cannabis plants.

The head of Salford Police, Chief Supt Mary Doyle, later described the seizure as ‘massively significant’.

Commercial cultivation of cannabis or a cannabis farm is defined by the Association of Police Officers as 25 or more plants at any stage of growth, or any premises that has been adapted for the production of cannabis with equipment such as hydroponics systems, high intensity lighting, ventilation and bypassed electricity meters.

In total the 18 English and Welsh police forces that provided figures for last year said they found 1,252 cannabis farms. However, this was down more than a quarter from 1,825 in 2013 and more than two-fifths from their peak of 2,208 in 2011.Across the forces that provided information, there were 6.8 cannabis farms for every 100,000 people.

source : http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/more-700-cannabis-farms-found-9997647