Cannabis finds increasing in Suffolk
Ian ClarkeMore than 1,500 cannabis plants and growing equipment have been found in properties in one part of Suffolk since the start of last year, according to police figures.Ian Clarke
More than 1,500 cannabis plants and growing equipment have been found in properties in one part of Suffolk since the start of last year, according to police figures.
Cannabis has been discovered growing at 17 houses in Forest Heath, with quantities ranging from one or two plants to more than 400.
In the case of the larger "factories", electricity meters were bypassed to set up rooms full of plants with lighting and heating equipment.
Police said as well as being illegal commercial enterprises, the danger-ous wiring put these properties and neighbouring houses at risk of fire.
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Now, landlords in the district are being urged to be vigilant and check their properties regularly.
Det Insp Andy Smith said: "Across Suffolk, and in Forest Heath particularly, we are seeing an increase in the number of cannabis factories uncovered. Many of the factories are detected after members of the local community raise suspicions, or when landlords call at the property.
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"We are appealing for everyone's help in cracking down on this illegal practice.
"When drug criminals operate out of rental properties, the local neighbourhood suffers, and property managers and landlords often pay a high price.
"The reputation of the landlord or property manager can be affected, other property owners may be reluctant to place their properties with the rental company, and a huge amount of damage is caused to the property often costing thousands of pounds to repair."
A guide, called Keeping Illegal Drugs Out of Rental Properties, has been produced, and Suffolk police's drug reduction and prevention officer can be contacted on 01473 613500.