Landlords helped to spot suspect tenants

LANDLORDS across Suffolk are being given tips on how to spot tenants who use their homes to create cannabis factories, after statistics revealed a 60pc rise in the number uncovered by police over the last three years.

LANDLORDS across Suffolk are being given tips on how to spot tenants who use their homes to create cannabis factories, after statistics revealed a 60pc rise in the number uncovered by police over the last three years.

A new guide has been written by Suffolk police to try to combat the figures which show that in 2004/05, 13 offences of cannabis production, which involved at least 10 plants being confiscated, were recorded, with 734 plants being seized. That rose in 2007/08 to 21 crimes, with 1,321 plants being confiscated.

The guide, Keeping Illegal Drugs out of Rental Properties, is being hand-delivered to Suffolk letting agents and landlords and lists tell-tale signs to identify tenants using buildings to produce illegal drugs.

Robin Pivett, drug reduction and prevention officer, said cannabis factories are often set up in houses in the suburbs rented solely for the purpose. Interiors are stripped and plants grown under hothouse conditions in every room.


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He said: 'When drug criminals operate out of rental properties, the local neighbourhood suffers and property managers and landlords often pay a high price. These premises are a danger, not only because the drugs that are grown will then be sold on our streets, but also because the premises themselves can potentially be a hazard.'

Earlier this week, police arrested two men on suspicion of producing cannabis in Gipsy Lane, Frostenden, near Southwold. They also seized nine large cannabis plants, cash and growing equipment. The men were bailed to return to Halesworth police station on March 2.

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Anyone who suspects premises being used as a cannabis factory should call police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 for a copy of the guide.

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