Landlords and letting agents urged to act on the signs of a cannabis factory
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Police officers in Northamptonshire are urging landlords and letting agents to act swiftly if they think one of their properties is being used as a cannabis factory.
Cannabis factories cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to the properties in which they are housed and can pose a serious risk to the local community due to the bypassing of the electrical supply.
Rented properties – both commercial and domestic – are often used by the growers and these people rely on landlords and letting agents not paying their properties any attention during the rental period.
PC Lois Watson from the Northampton Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “People often think that cannabis grows are a victimless crime but they have a real effect on local communities.
“They also cause landlords and letting agents serious issues too including property damage, ceilings and walls being knocked through, wiring ripped out, floorboards removed, furniture destroyed and water damage.
“A cannabis factory inside a property also increases significantly increases the risk of a fire or explosion.
“If you are a landlord, please check your properties and make our neighbourhoods a nicer placer to live as a result.”
Spotting the signs of a potential cannabis grow:
Strong, sickly smells different to the smell of cannabis being smoked • Excessive security • High levels of condensation • Lots of visitors - often at unsociable hours • Lack of snow frost/snow on roofs in times of cold weather • Bright lights on in the house during the day and night • Constant buzz of a ventilation system • Cannabis growing equipment, for example lighting and ventilation equipment. • Windows constantly covered • Windows blacked out either using black plastic or heavy fabric • High levels of heat and condensation in a unit, resulting in peeling paint or mildewed wallboard or carpet. Heavy condensation at the windows may also be seen • Lots of cables, or electrical wiring being tampered with and bypassed circuitry • A sudden jump/fall in electricity bills • Bin bags full of vegetable material being thrown away. The stalks and roots of cannabis plants are discarded when the plants are harvested.