Rented house used as cannabis factory

This Is Wiltshire: The PCSO for Broadgreen,  Emma Millarvie The PCSO for Broadgreen, Emma Millarvie

THE illicit trade in cannabis was ‘significantly’ disrupted after town centre police raided a Shrivenham Road home and discovered 300 cannabis plants with a potential street value of £140,000 yesterday.

A 20-year-old man, thought to be a Vietnamese national, was found asleep in the front room when officers stormed the address at 7.30am and has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and stealing electricity.

Officers smashed the sophisticated set-up, which was confined to the loft and upstairs bedrooms and was found to be using the electricity supply illegally.

Broadgreen beat manager PC Luke Atkinson said the bust, the result of a tip-off from the community, had disrupted the trade in the class B drug and was the first in the area for a while.

He said: “The plants were about half-way through their cycle but had they been fully grown they might have been worth up to £140,000.

“This should have a significant effect on the circulation of cannabis in the area. We know it is a stepping stone drug and that its use is associated with criminality so to keep this amount off the street is good news.

“We forced entry to the house and found one man asleep inside – we suspect he was the gardener put in charge of harvesting these plants. It was quite a sophisticated set-up and it is certainly not a casual operation. More than likely it is linked to organised crime.

“The downstairs resembled a normal home, perhaps to avoid questions from the landlord, as it was a private rent.

“The warning we want to put out to landlords is to do the background checks, call the references and do checks on the property.

“This may have been established for eight to 12 weeks or so but we have known properties not to be checked for six, nine or 12 months, so it is important.”

The suspect, who is also being investigated for possible immigration offences, was taken to Gablecross police station and interviewed with an interpreter.

PC Atkinson added that officers continue to rely on the community for information about illegal activity in their areas and he encouraged people to speak up.

“We will act on the information we receive,” he said.

Anyone with any information about illegal drugs should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Comments (4)

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8:08am Fri 28 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

I dont imagine for one minute the trade in cannabis was disputed in the slightest. there is so much of it around Swindon, most people have more than one source or know someone who does. Just a good headline but a drop in the ocean of cracking down on drugs.
I dont imagine for one minute the trade in cannabis was disputed in the slightest. there is so much of it around Swindon, most people have more than one source or know someone who does. Just a good headline but a drop in the ocean of cracking down on drugs. house on the hill

10:30am Fri 28 Feb 14

John Trollston says...

The rents these landlords charge its no wonder persons are setting up grow rooms.
The rents these landlords charge its no wonder persons are setting up grow rooms. John Trollston

12:55pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Highworth Lad says...

correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the landlord or the agent regularly check the property? mine does. So this makes me think some is on the take for these people to get away with growing this stuff in the property??....
correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't the landlord or the agent regularly check the property? mine does. So this makes me think some is on the take for these people to get away with growing this stuff in the property??.... Highworth Lad

8:58pm Fri 28 Feb 14

dukeofM4 says...

There's no requirement for a landlord to check the property once let.

Perhaps the landlord is on his holidays in Colorado where cannabis is now legal for recreational use!
There's no requirement for a landlord to check the property once let. Perhaps the landlord is on his holidays in Colorado where cannabis is now legal for recreational use! dukeofM4

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