Merseyside Police’s Cannabis Dismantling Team attended four cannabis farms across Merseyside with a combined estimated annual yield of more than £1.1m in one day, Monday 9 April 2018. The cannabis farms were located at: • Chirkdale Street, Kirkdale – 199 plants • Alwyn Street, Dingle – 37 plants • Swinbrook Green, Norris Green – 23 plants and large amount of dried cannabis • Whincraig, Little Moss Hey – 27 plants
Following the warrant at Swinbrook Green, a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis, production of cannabis, theft of motor vehicle and abstracting electricity. He has been released under investigation. After the discovery of a cannabis farm on Whincraig, a 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis and abstracting electricity. He has been released under investigation.
Cannabis Dismantling Team Inspector Gary Sorrell said: "Cannabis cultivation by criminal gangs can bring with it serious harm to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Criminal groups involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in other serious organised crime and they often use residential houses such as this, in the heart of our communities. "Our communities can help us stop these groups, who are only interested in making money, from turning houses, flats and business premises into potential death traps. Nobody wants to live or work next door to these places and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property for this purpose, please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up. "The people who set up these farms often tamper with the electricity meters to steal electricity, and there will generally be a number of hot lamps hooked to overloaded electricity sockets as well as an extensive watering system. "Electricity and water are never a good combination, and the fire service have seen an increase in the number of fires they have been called to as a result of fires caused by the crude systems put in place by the people who set up these farms.”
Some of the signs that cannabis is being grown are: • Strange smells and sounds • Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times • Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting • Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed • Heat from an adjoining property • Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather • Individually these activities may seem commonplace, however, together may indicate something more sinister Anyone with any information can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.