So far this month, seven cannabis factories have been shut down and 2,000 plants have been seized in and around Bedford as part of a new Bedfordshire Police operation.
Officers from county’s north community policing team launched an operation to combat cannabis factories at the beginning of April.
Since then officers have carried out warrants at seven different properties.
On Sunday (19 April) a factory was discovered and dismantled in Renhold, while officers carrying out a warrant in Sharnbrook yesterday morning (Monday) also made one arrest and seized cannabis plants.
The team has now seized just over 2,000 plants and around three kilos of dried, prepared cannabis since the operation began, as well as making six arrests in total.
Sergeant Madelyn Doggrell said, “Cannabis factories continue to be a scourge on our communities and despite the unprecedented situation we are all currently operating in, we’re determined to continue to keep Bedfordshire safe by clamping down on them.
“The growing and supplying of cannabis is not a victimless crime – it can underpin a whole range of issues such as gangs, violence, and anti-social behaviour, which severely impact on our local communities.
“We’re really pleased with the success of this operation so far but this doesn’t end here, we will continue to identify and close down those running such factories, apprehending those responsible for running them and seizing the plants.”
There are some key signs to look out for which may help spot a cannabis factory, including:
– Windows always closed in summer and curtains permanently drawn
– Excessive condensation at windows
– Pungent or chemical smells
– Lights repeatedly being turned on and off
– The sound of whirring coming from the address at different periods throughout the day and night
– Large amounts of compost, plant pots, chemicals or fertiliser (or empty containers) stored
– Neighbours reporting many frequent different visitors to the property OR no apparent movement of tenants at all
– Excessive security measures added to property such as bars at the windows or reinforced doors
-Lookouts – usually young/teenagers hanging about outside to warn the users of potential trouble
Anyone with any concerns about a cannabis factory can report it to police on 101 or via the force’s online reporting centre, quoting Operation Scythe.
You can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.