Cumbria police ask for help to stop drug farms
Last updated at 13:31, Monday, 09 July 2012
Letting agents and social landlords have been asked to be the “eyes and ears” of the police after a west Cumbrian drugs bust.
The initiative follows the seizure of £400,000 of drugs from a cannabis farm in a house on the outskirts of Flimby.
Detective Chief Inspector Keith Capstick said the arrangement would be “mutually beneficial”.
“It’s really important that you are here: you are the eyes and the ears.
“And it’s important for us to let you know some of the problems and pitfalls you might encounter.”
Agents from Gisdales, Home Group and Edwin Thompson were invited to a presentation in Workington Police Station.
They were shown what could happen to homes infiltrated by cannabis growers and told about the telltale signs of drug production.
The move follows a “massive increase” in the number of houses in west Cumbria being used to grow cannabis. The scale of the problem is huge and farms have sprung up in homes across west Cumbria because production yields massive profits for very little investment.
Detective Constable Jason Robinson, who gave the presentation, said “thousands of pounds” of damage had been caused to the house in Flimby. Typically walls are knocked through to accommodate pipes and wiring and to bypass the mains supply.
DCI Capstick added: “They don’t destroy their own houses: they destroy other people's and will quite happily knock holes in walls.”
The group was asked to look out for frequent comings and goings, closed curtains and empty boxes which are often used to carry drug-growing paraphernalia into a house.
A large cannabis plant was also passed around so that the group would be better able to identify the plant’s distinctive sickly sweet aroma.
Photographs of cannabis farms were shown, illustrating some of the methods used to cultivate the and conceal the plants. They included carbon filters, heat lamps, extractor fans and specially adapted electrics.
In Flimby, five of the rooms had been used to grow marijuana, with only the kitchen and living room kept clear.
Anyone with information on drug production is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
First published at 11:27, Monday, 09 July 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk