More than 5,000 cannabis plants seized as part of national campaign
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Eighteen people were arrested and more than five thousand cannabis plants seized as part of a national operation tackling the organised crime gangs (OCGs) which are responsible for cannabis factories.
Northamptonshire Police joined together with other forces across the UK to take part in Operation Mille, a coordinated campaign which saw more than a thousand search warrants executed throughout June.
In Northamptonshire, officers executed 21 search warrants, arrested 18 people and seized cash, cannabis and Class A drugs.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Cobley, from the Force’s Proactive Crime and Intelligence department, said: “Highly sophisticated criminal networks operate across the UK to set up cannabis factories, often exploiting vulnerable people to farm the factories.
“The month of action was designed to disrupt OCGs by taking out a key source of their revenue, while simultaneously apprehending many of those involved, safeguarding those being exploited, and increasing intelligence around how the networks operate.
“Cannabis-related crime is often thought to be ‘low level’, however there are clear patterns around the exploitation and violence OCGs use to protect their enterprises. We also frequently find that cannabis production is just one aspect of their criminal operations and that they are complicit in wider offending which blights our communities.”
The Op Mille results for Northamptonshire included:
Cannabis plants seized - 5,001
Search warrants - 21
Arrests - 18
People charged - 4
People safeguarded - 2
60 Intelligence logs submitted
Anyone with information about a potential cannabis factory or drug dealing can report it to us via northants.police.uk or by calling 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously online via crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.
Signs that a property could be being used as a cannabis factory include:
Frequent visitors to a property at unsocial hours throughout the day and night
Blacked out windows or condensation on the windows, even when it is not cold outside
Bright lights in rooms throughout the night
Electricity meters being tampered with/altered and new cabling, sometimes leading to street lighting. High electricity bills could also be an indicator
A powerful, distinctive, sweet, sickly aroma and noise from fans
Lots of work or deliveries of equipment to an address, particularly those associated with growing plants indoors without soil such as heaters and lighting
An excessive amount of plant pots, chemicals, fertilisers, and compost