min read

Police forces launch cannabis farms campaign targetting landlords

cannabis farms campaign police

Police forces across four big UK counties have united to urge landlords and letting agents to join them in their fight against cannabis factories in rented properties.

Four Police and Crime Commissioners or PCCs (main picture) in the southwest counties of Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall are calling on landlords, letting agents and housing companies to help them drive drugs off the region's streets.

Specifically, the commissioners want those who rent properties to identify and report suspected cannabis farms.

They are also asking landlords to write to their national trade to raise awareness and ask for greater collaboration to fight cannabis cultivation in communities.

The initiative is part of a region-wide drugs campaign by the commissioners and their police forces known as Operation Scorpion.

It is focussing on the supply chain by organised crime groups and associated crime, in particular cannabis cultivation.

The latest aspect of this is targeting the private rented sector, with landlords and agent being asked to watch out for:

  • Tenants who ask for complete privacy - requesting no periodic inspections.
  • Blacked out windows and frequent visitors throughout the day and night.
  • Light source coming from a property even during the night.

The campaign also includes how letting agents housing companies have a legal obligation to report any concerns, what information should be reported and how to file a report.

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Phillip Wilkinson (third from left), says: 'Communities where drugs are cultivated and dealt are simply fed up with the misery this type of crime brings to their doorsteps.

'Criminals target properties for cultivation and we are calling on all landlords, letting agents and housing companies to be wise to the types of activity that could be happening in their properties.

'This is why we must tackle the issue of cannabis cultivation head on, and this collaborative approach between myself and the other PCCs reinforces the message that no matter where you live in the South West, there is no place for drugs.'�

Read more: Landlord who allowed property to be used as cannabis farm jailed.

Main picture: David Sidwick, Dorset PCC, Mark Shelfold, Avon and Somerset PCC, Philip Wilkinson, Wiltshire PCC and Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall PCC


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