Police helicopter spots Bromham drugs den
10:42am Monday 7th January 2013 in By Lewis Cowen
A DRUGS ‘factory’ in Bromham was nipped in the bud after the sharp-eyed crew of the Wiltshire police helicopter noticed a suspicious heat source emanating from a house in The Pound last week.
The helicopter was returning to base from a mission when its thermal imaging camera picked up the ‘hot spot’.
The information was passed to the Devizes nieghbourhood policing team.
A drugs warrant was executed at the address on Thursday morning and paraphernalia for cultivating herbal cannabis was found.
PC Emma Reed from Devizes police said: “Only a small quantity of the drug was found but it was clear from the amount of equipment that it could have produced a great deal more.
“It was thanks to the information provided to us by the helicopter crew that we were able to find and confiscate this equipment.”
Graham Saunders of the air support unit at police headquarters in Devizes said that he and his colleagues routinely look out for indications like this.
He said: “The thermal imaging camera, which provides black-and-white images of scenes based on the heat being radiated by objects, is on all the time we are airborne.
“We pick up quite a few of these indications. We are often asked by our colleagues on the ground to look out for heat sources at suspect premises but we don’t go out especially to look for them. We will monitor them while we are out on other jobs.
“In this case the observer just happened to notice the heat source and we passed it on to our colleagues in the Devizes policing team.”
A local man has been given a police caution for possession and cultivation of an illegal Class B drug.
It is the latest in a string of successes that Devizes police have had in executing drugs warrants in the area. Most of their information has come from members of the public but this is the first time that aerial evidence has been used.