Officers from the Leamington Safer Neighbourhood Team seized more than 100 cannabis plants after discovering grows at two properties in the town.
On Friday (25 September), officers responded to reports of windows being smashed at a house in Wentworth Road (pictured left). They entered the property to check nobody was injured and discovered 39 plants with more cannabis harvested and ready to go.
On Sunday, a warrant was executed at a house in St David’s Close. The warrant was issued by the court after concern was raised about suspicious activity at the property. Officers seized 73 plants (pictured right).
Sergeant Trent McMurray from the Leamington Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “The drug dealing business in Leamington has certainly taken a big hit over the last few weeks and we will continue to make it as hostile and costly as possible to deal in the town.
“I hope local people can see that we do act on the information they provide. Please continue to provide information and we will continue to act. All intelligence helps us to get a picture of issues in the local area and target those responsible.”
If you have information about drug dealing in your area you can report it by calling 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Do you know how to spot the signs of cannabis being grown at a property?
Strong, sickly smells
It may sound obvious, but most cannabis grows are discovered by passers-by or keen-nosed residents catching a whiff of the drug’s familiar smell. A cannabis crop takes about three months to grow and in the final weeks, the plants stink. Crimestoppers has previously sent out cannabis-farm scratch-and-sniff cards to more than 200,000 homes in the UK to help home-owners tell if they live close to a budding farm.
Windows are constantly covered
Do your neighbours have the curtains drawn all day long? It might make it look like the house is unoccupied, but having windows blocked up with panelling or sheeting would suggest there’s something they don’t want you to see. This could be a sign that there are many budding plants inside soaking up bright artificial light.
Growers live in constant fear that their home grown farms will be discovered by police, landlords or rival drug dealers. If there are padlocks on the gates, massive grilles and double and triple locks on the doors, that should raise eyebrows – especially if the street is relatively safe. On bigger, high value farms, portcullises, bars on the windows and even CCTV cameras can be evident.
High levels of condensation
Are the windows always misted up? From the inside, landlords might notice damp on the walls or peeling wallpaper, while from the outside a neighbour might spot condensation on the windows, even when it’s not the depths of winter. The condensation may well be due to inside having been turned into a makeshift greenhouse. For the best plant growth, cannabis needs an atmosphere similar to a greenhouse, and this can cause a lot of condensation.
Lots of visitors - and at unsociable hours
Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times, could mean you just have a popular neighbour with a big family. But if unfamiliar faces are turning up next door day and night, it might be a sign that there’s something more sinister going on. One thing to watch for is lots of new faces coming knocking.
Rocketing electricity bills
The lights, dehumidifiers, hydroponic systems and heaters take a lot of electricity. Many farms have been found where drugs gangs have hacked into the electricity wires before the meter to that individual house, and so bypassed having to pay for the electricity. If you are a landlord who gets a copy of the bill, has it dropped or gone up suddenly? If so, your neighbourhood growers could have tapped into your supply and are charging you to power their drug operation. You should contact your supplier and the police immediately.
What happens when it snows?
Cannabis factories produce a lot of heat, which can cause tell-tale signs, especially in winter. When it snows, the roofs of cannabis farms can be obvious as the snow melts, meaning it is probably the only house on the street without a snow-covered roof.
Bright lights day and night
It’s strange for anyone to need unusually bright lights on 24 hours a day. Cannabis needs light to grow, so watch out for homes with bright lighting at all times of the day and night. Lights will often be on a timer switch, coming on in the middle of the night.
Constant buzz of ventilation
If you can hear the constant noise of a fan, at all times of the day or night, chances are it could be acting as ventilation for the cannabis grow.