14 November 2010

Dopey Journalism # 1: The Price of A Plant

There's been a lot of cannabis "factory" raids of late which has given journalists and the police the chance to go wild with their estimates of the relative value of the crops seized:

So for example the Belfast Telegraph reported a raid in which sixty plants were seized: stated value: £30,000 or £500/plant.

This figure is presumably based on each plant producing a notional 5oz per plant, with a (cheap) street value of £100/oz
Compare this, though, the a reported raid in Essex, reported in the Mirror: 8,000 plants seized with a stated value of £2m. So the value of these plants has dropped to a mere £250/plant. In nearby Cambridge, 1,300 plants were reported to have a street value of £750,000 or almost £600/plant according to the BBC.

In Liverpool, the media stated the value of plants at almost three times this; the Liverpool Daily Post cited the value of 275 seized cannabis plants at an amazing £223,000 - or £810/plant.

It's fortunate then that the same valuation wasn't applied to a Wolverhampton man reported in the Stourbridge News (in a piece of journalism which is odious in its own right) who had two plants in a wardrobe with a reported value of £300.

So from £150/plant up to £800/plant, it seems that dopey hacks will report any figure given to them by the Police. But in turn the risk is that the courts will be equally credulous of inflated figures.

If you spot a reported figure for a plant of higher than £800/plant let us know!


melody said...

Bloody hell.... if id known they were that valuable, i might have reconsidered making my teenage son get rid of his little garden in the attic all those years ago!!!!
All though i think the electric bill probably counter weighed the value!!!!
nice little blog... i like it!!!!

+hamish3596 said...

So what DO you suggest is a sensible price for a plant? Are you working on street value per 1/8th? Or on wholesale prices per kg?

KFx said...

@ jumped up suit: maybe missing the point of this article - it was more to highlight the wide variance in "valuations" applied to seizures and the implications for this in terms of, for example, sentencing and sensationalising by the media.

But if I were trying to calculate a figure it would be based on the average yield from a plant x average cost per ounce in the UK at the time; more importantly though any such valuation agreed by Home office, ACPO and CPS to provide a level of consistency.