A major cannabis factory – worth in excess of £270,000 – has had its production stopped in its tracks after being discovered yesterday.
Officers were alerted to suspicious activity in Wheeler Avenue, Swindon, after an electrician working on a neighbouring house reported an anomaly with the amount of electricity being drawn by the property – 24 times the amount of a normal household.
On closer inspection, officers found the entire top floor of the property, including the attic, were full to the brim of mature cannabis plants that were ready to be harvested – in some rooms production had already started.
PC Adam Tape, from Swindon’s community policing team, said: “This is a significant find – in the region of 360 large, mature, cannabis plants – and a significant drugs operation that is no more.
“Quite often criminals ‘doctor’ the amount of electricity going into a property to enable these factories to operate. This can have potentially fatal consequences for neighbouring homes, should something go wrong.
“Without the information from the employee, these plants could have been harvested before we discovered the factory and sold on the streets of our town. We’re delighted to have put a stop to that.”
PC Tape also praised the Southern Electric employee for reporting the activity. “We will always robustly pursue criminals who produce and distribute drugs on our streets,” he said. “We’d like to thank the electrician for his actions and reporting his suspicions – solid intelligence is key to beating these criminals.”
Police are also appealing for the public’s help to identify those responsible for the factory. Maybe you have seen suspicious activity in the area? Or noticed cars or people coming and going at odd times? Let us know and help officers bring them to justice.
Anyone who has information that may help police should call 101 and quote crime reference 54200122507. Suspicions of illegal activity in your community? Report to 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.