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14.03.23 – The HMP Twinning Project, Cannabis Discoveries in Staffordshire

Written by on 13 April 2023

Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Helen Fisher visited HMP Dovegate to see graduates of the Twinning Project receive football coaching certificates from Stoke City Football Club, as part of an initiative to give prisoners the skills to seek work upon release.

The Twinning Project is a partnership between Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and professional football clubs, with the aim of twinning every prison in England and Wales with a local professional club.

Since July 2020, the Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office has supported the initiative with £20,000 funding, which as well as HMP Dovegate has also seen football coaching courses delivered at HMP Drake Hall and HMP Stoke Heath.

The project uses professional coaches and football club staff to deliver accredited Football Association coaching and refereeing qualifications to prisoners to better prepare them for life after their release.

As well as teaching football skills, the 12-week course also aims to improve prisoners’ mental health and wellbeing by teaching transferrable life skills like communication, confidence, leadership, health and fitness, planning, organisation, and team building.


Staffordshire Police are continuing to disrupt drug supply across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as three substantial cannabis grows were discovered recently in Lichfield, Burslem and Longton.

A total of 770 plants were seized from the three separate unlinked addresses.

The latest discoveries come as the force continues its dedicated Operation aimed at disrupting the supply and cultivation of drugs in Staffordshire.

Since its launch in 2021, Police have discovered more than 300 cannabis cultivations as well as invested in specialist equipment and tools to assist officers in identifying and seizing drug-related material.

There are various clues which can indicate a property is being used for drug cultivation, including:

  • A pungent smell emitting from the address
  • Condensation of windows, even in warmer months
  • Blocked-out windows or strong lighting emanating from them
  • A large amount of deliveries at the address
  • A constant buzz from ventilation
  • A large amount of power cables.

For more information on cannabis cultivations, visit: Cannabis farms | Staffordshire Police.

To report any suspected grows in your area, please contact us by calling 101.

To share any information relating to the Lichfield, Burton and Longton grows, contact us through Live Chat on our website, or call 101, quoting incident number 476 of 11 April.

Always call 999 in an emergency.