Police defend auction

POLICE have explained their decision to auction plant growing equipment that has been confiscated from convicted criminals or is lost property.Suffolk Constabulary is auctioning a collection of items including hydroponics equipment, seed trays lights, and water reservoirs in Ipswich tomorrow.

POLICE have explained their decision to auction plant growing equipment that has been confiscated from convicted criminals or is lost property.

Suffolk Constabulary is auctioning a collection of items including hydroponics equipment, seed trays lights, and water reservoirs in Ipswich tomorrow.

The items are all either lost property or have been seized from convicted criminals in the county and the majority of the proceeds will be donated to local charities and community groups.

Suffolk police said the force regularly sold unclaimed goods or items seized by criminals, and said it would destroy any items that could not be used legitimately.


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But Maureen Griffiths, who believes cannabis drove her teenage son Shaun to suicide, said she was sad that the police were selling on the items and said they should be destroyed.

A force spokeswoman said: "Material sold at auction must have a legitimate purpose or it would not be sold, but destroyed.

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"Hydroponics equipment is legitimately used by growers of a variety of plants and is available from plant nurseries throughout the country.

"Police regularly sell unclaimed items and goods seized from convicted criminals at auction.

"The proceeds of these sales are placed into the Police Property Act Fund. A percentage of the money raised at auction is then recycled back into the community through police support for local groups and charities."

Shaun Griffiths took his own life on the eve of his 17th birthday 15 years ago at the family's then home in Castle Hedingham.

Mrs Griffiths, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, later discovered Shaun had been smoking cannabis and believed it triggered paranoid delusions and possibly even schizophrenia which led to his suicide

She said: "I feel sad that the hydroponics equipment confiscated by the police is being sold at auction because it may be sold to people who would not normally have easy access to this equipment.

"Unfortunately Government plans to reclassify cannabis from a class B drug appears to be giving the message that cannabis is a harmless drug.

"There is now definite evidence that it's a dangerous drug and it can have a dangerous effect on the brain. In some cases causing schizophrenia, severe depression leading to suicide or other psychotic problems.

"The police are in a difficult position because the law change downgrading cannabis is very confusing and gives the impression taking cannabis is legal.

She added: "I wish the equipment would be destroyed rather than resold even though the proceeds will go to charity. Please be warned cannabis is a very dangerous drug and should only be used under medical supervision."

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