We arrested a man after police officers in a patrol car sniffed out a cannabis farm in St Helens in the early hours of today (Wednesday 30 September).
Officers on patrol on Gunning Avenue noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming through the vents in their vehicle at about 1.30am.
The officers found there was condensation on the windows of a house on the street, that fans could be heard and upon closer inspection saw cannabis plants in the living room of the property.
After seeing movement upstairs, the officers searched the premises and found a cannabis farm inside spread across five rooms with around 150 plants in total.
They located a man in an upstairs bedroom and he was detained.
A 48-year-old man from St Helens was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis. He has been taken into custody to be interviewed.
Inspector Rob Budden said: “Our officers were assisting with a different incident when they smelled cannabis in the air, and acted quickly and decisively to find this cannabis farm and ensure the occupant was detained.
“Those offenders who grow and deal illegal drugs in the heart of our communities put their neighbours at serious risk of harm at every step of the process. In growing the plants they dangerously abstract electricity illegally, overload plug sockets and mix electricity and water bringing the risk of fire to their own and surrounding buildings. Dealers then use fear, intimidation and often serious violence on the streets of Merseyside in order to keep their illicit trade going and ward off competition.
“That is why our officers are so determined to pursue those involved, shut down the source of their income and put offenders before the courts.”
Insp Budden added: “While our officers are trained and experienced in knowing the signs cannabis may be being grown at a property, anyone can look out for cannabis farms in their area.
“if you suspect there is one near you, please come forward and you could help us bring offenders to justice and take money from the pockets of criminals who care only about making money and do not care about the harm they bring to the streets on which they operate.”
A video in which where Matt Brown, our Cannabis Dismantling Team manager, explains how you can spot signs of cannabis being grown where you live can be found here – https://youtu.be/rc59i2dsZHM
Some of the signs that cannabis is being grown are:
• Strange smells and sounds
• Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
• Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting
• Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
• Heat from an adjoining property
• Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather
• Individually these activities may seem commonplace, however, together may indicate something more sinister
If you have any information about suspected drug production in your area, please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.