Public tip leads U.K. police to illegal cannabis grow with 1,000-plus plants


Local police say a U.K. neighborhood has been safer after a tip from the public allowed police to home in on an illegal cannabis grow housing 1,021 plants.

Officers with the Merseyside Police made the discovery at a property in West Derby after receiving a report at 12:20 p.m. on Aug. 8, notes a police statement. The caller noted that plants were being grown on land near the entrance to a Tesco car park.

Upon arrival, officers recovered approximately 1,021 plants. Police are asking for people to report any information about the illegal grow or those responsible.

“Criminals involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in serious organized crime and the associated violence and criminality that this brings,” says Matt Smith, head of Merseyside Police’s Cannabis Dismantling Team. “By removing these plants we’re making our streets safer,” Smith adds in the release.

Concerned citizens can help police if they notice any suspicious behavior. For illegal marijuana grow-ops, this includes, among other things, strange smells and sounds, frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times, gardening equipment such as pots, fertilizer, fans and industrial lighting being taken into a property, windows being sealed and covered or the curtains being permanently closed, heat from an adjoining property and birds gathering on a roof in cold weather.

U.K. police have busted several large grows in recent months. In early July, three men were arrested after Merseyside Police investigators seized more than 2,000 cannabis plants from an illegal grow-op spread across 13 rooms of a warehouse.

Also last month, five people, including two teens, were detained after Nottinghamshire Police officers investigating a reported break-in instead unearthed a large-scale grow-op. In all, “hundreds of plants spread across multiple rooms” were found on July 12.

And this past May, officers with the North Yorkshire Police discovered an unidentified, but still substantial, number of plants while raiding a house that had been converted into a sophisticated grow. Although three upstairs rooms housed many marijuana plants valued at thousands of dollars, many of them were dead or dying.

Region: United Kingdom