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4 March 2011, 16:11
About 600 cannabis plants were found and two people arrested yesterday (Thursday March 3) as another cannabis farm was dismantled in Bedford.
Members of the public noticed a strong smell and constantly running extractor fans at the house in Victoria Road and the council environmental health officers who attended to investigate then called the police.
Police officers who went to the house only narrowly avoided severe injury after a booby trap at the front door was spotted by officers entering via a rear door. A bottle of water had been placed over the front door and directly wired to the mains electric; anyone opening the door would have disturbed the bottle and received an instant, potentially fatal, shock.
One man was caught as he tried to escape via the back door and through neighbouring gardens while another was found hiding in the chimney breast. Both were arrested and remain at Greyfriars police station for questioning.
Sergeant Debbie James, Eastcotts and Wilstead Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This is the second factory in two weeks that we have destroyed. It’s an excellent example of police acting on information received from the public and doing their bit to help. This is part of a continuous campaign by Bedfordshire Police to stop these kinds of criminals. We have been seeing an upturn in the number of organised and commercial enterprises of this nature in the last two years – but we’ve also seen a huge rise in the amount of police activity dedicated to detecting and demolishing them. Cannabis farming is usually linked to organised crime gangs, people trafficking and other, even more, sinister issues which cause absolute misery to many people.”
Signs to look out for that could indicate a cannabis factory in a house near you:
To spot the signs of a cannabis factory, or for advice on how to avoid renting your property to potential cannabis farmers, visit: http://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/tackling_crime/cannabis.aspx
Anyone with information about drugs can speak to the South Safer Neighbourhood Team, in confidence, on 01234 842433, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or text information to 07786 200011.