Merseyside Police have discovered a cannabis farm worth more than £1 million per year in Bootle today, Friday 12 January 2018.
At around 7.10pm yesterday (Thursday, 11 January), officers were called to a house on Hawthorne Road after reports of squatters in the premises.
Officers from the force’s specialist Cannabis Dismantling Team (CDT) attended and made the property safe. A large cannabis farm with 271 plants was found across four floors of the property. The electric supply was found to be have been bridged. Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible.
Sergeant Gary Sorrell from the CDT said: “The excellent result shows the scale and organisation that some criminal groups are capable of. But more importantly, it demonstrates that we can and do identify such significant farms on a regular basis, taking away the harm and risk that they bring to our communities.
“If anyone has seen suspicious activity in or close to the South Park end of Hawthorne Road in recent days, please pass the information on, which may prove vital in tracking down those responsible and bringing them to justice.
“Criminals who set up these farms cause considerable misery for hard-working people who just want to earn an honest living, and attract violence including knife and gun crime to those communities in which they operate.
“Nobody wants to live near a magnet for crime. And as in this case, electricity is often bypassed, causing a huge fire risk to neighbours. If you are aware of cannabis being grown in your communities, please let us know and we can remove these potential death traps. If you recognise some of the signs, you can report any concerns and we will do the rest.”
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 common place, however, together may indicate something more sinister
Anyone with information on the cultivation of cannabis can call police on 101. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously and for free on 0800 555 111 or via their online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online.