Drug farmers' £200m theft

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The Independent Online

Cannabis farmers steal about £200m of electricity every year to grow their illegal crops, a study has found.

Phil Butler, from Newcastle University's Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security, said that the stolen electricity was enough to power every home in a city the size of Newcastle for a year.

"The electricity costs associated with even a small-scale farm are astronomical," Mr Butler said. "The individuals responsible find ways of siphoning off the electricity from the main source – often this means digging down underground outside."