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Public tip leads U.K. police to illegal cannabis grow with 1,000-plus plants

Aug 11, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Farm discovered near the entrance of a car park

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Local police say a U.K. neighbourhood has been safer after a tip from the public allowed police to home in on an illegal cannabis grow housing 1,021 plants.

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Officers with the Merseyside Police made the discovery at a property in West Derby after receiving a report at 12:20 p.m. on Aug. 8, notes a police statement. The caller noted that plants were being grown on land near the entrance to a Tesco car park.

  1. The officer on patrol detected the strong and distinctively skunky scent and decided to call in members of Operation Pelican.

    A passing officer detects weed smell coming from grow-op spread across two floors of a property

  2. Image for representation. Officers executing a warrant came upon 900-plus cannabis plants. /

    Men at cannabis grow-op tried to evade police by hiding in ceiling

  3. Image for representation. Police caught wind of the operation after the odour began to permeate the neighbourhood. /

    Ex-police offer who sold $1.5M worth of cannabis ordered to pay back some of his proceeds

Upon arrival, officers recovered approximately 1,021 plants. Police are asking for people to report any information about the illegal grow or those responsible.

“Criminals involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in serious organized crime and the associated violence and criminality that this brings,” says Matt Smith, head of Merseyside Police’s Cannabis Dismantling Team. “By removing these plants we’re making our streets safer,” Smith adds in the release.

Concerned citizens can help police if they notice any suspicious behaviour. For illegal marijuana grow-ops, this includes, among other things, strange smells and sounds, frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times, gardening equipment such as pots, fertilizer, fans and industrial lighting being taken into a property, windows being sealed and covered or the curtains being permanently closed, heat from an adjoining property and birds gathering on a roof in cold weather.

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U.K. police have busted several large grows in recent months. In early July, three men were arrested after Merseyside Police investigators seized more than 2,000 cannabis plants from an illegal grow-op spread across 13 rooms of a warehouse.

Also last month, five people, including two teens, were detained after Nottinghamshire Police officers investigating a reported break-in instead unearthed a large-scale grow-op. In all, “hundreds of plants spread across multiple rooms” were found on July 12.

Close-up photo of some of the cannabis plants found on U.K. property in West Derby. /
Close-up photo of some of the cannabis plants found on U.K. property in West Derby. / Photo by Merseyside Police

And this past May, officers with the North Yorkshire Police discovered an unidentified, but still substantial, number of plants while raiding a house that had been converted into a sophisticated grow. Although three upstairs rooms housed many marijuana plants valued at thousands of dollars, many of them were dead or dying.

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