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Two cannabis factories disrupted in Southsea in ten days

Alert message sent 24/09/2020 11:35:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

Great bit of joint working by Portsmouth’s Response and Patrol and Investigations teams – two cannabis factories disrupted in Southsea in ten days.
On Wednesday 9 September we were made aware of a cannabis factory by an energy company at a property on St Ronans Road. Officers seized hundreds of plants during the subsequent warrant that was carried out.
Then on Saturday 19 September we received a call from a concerned landlord who had found a cannabis factory in one of his properties on Oxford Road. You can see from the photo that we seized quite a few more plants during the warrant that followed.
Enquiries are ongoing to locate those believed to have been involved at each address.
We are really keen to hear from people who suspect there is cannabis cultivation or drug related activity going on their neighbourhood.

Every call you make to us is logged and helps us build up an intelligence picture about what might be happening in your community.

This allows us to take action and protect neighbourhoods from the harm caused by the criminality and anti-social behaviour associated with drugs activity.

Can you spot the signs of cannabis cultivation?

1. There's a strong, sickly smell. It might sound obvious, but most cannabis grows are discovered by passers-by or keen-nosed residents catching a whiff of the drug's familiar smell.

2. High levels of condensation. 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.

3. Constantly covered or blacked out windows. Do they have the curtains drawn all day long? Or have they put black-outs over all the windows? It might make it look like the house is unoccupied, but blacked out windows could well mean inside is really, really bright with strong lights.

4. Cannabis growing equipment transported to and from the house. Thousands of pounds worth of equipment is often needed for large-scale grows - have you seen lots of things being delivered to the house, or large items being taken in or out?

5. 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.

6. Strong, constant lighting day and night. 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.

7. Lots of power cables and rocketing electricity bills. The lights, dehumidifiers and heaters take a lot of electricity. Growers will often hack into the electricity wires before the meter to that individual house, and so bypass having to pay for the electricity. If you are a landlord who gets a copy of the bill, has it dropped suddenly, or gone up suddenly? If you are a neighbour and your bill has rocketed – maybe your next door neighbour has hacked into your mains and you're paying to grow their drugs?

8. Heat, birds on the roof, and a lack of snow. Cannabis factories produce a lot of heat, which can cause tell-tales 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. Birds also like roosting on a nice warm roof...

9. Unsociable comings and goings. Are there lots of unfamiliar faces turning up at the house at any time of the day and night? It could just be a popular family, but maybe it's something more sinister.

If you have any concerns, please get in touch by calling 101.
You can also report anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.

In an emergency, if a crime is in progress or there is suspicious activity ongoing, always call 999
Message sent by
James Pusey (Police, Senior Communities Officer, Hampshire and Isle of Wight)

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