Around 300 cannabis plants seized following day of police action
PUBLISHED: 18:46 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:22 20 January 2016
Around 300 cannabis plants were seized and 11 people were arrested following a day of police action in Suffolk.
After executing a search warrant in Haughley, police arrested a 45-year-old man on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and possession with intent to supply – other than Class A as Operation Platoon took place, with sergeant Jon Eaves saying the force was determined to “stamp out” criminality across the county.
At the property in the village, approximately 300 plants were found, along with a box of prepared cannabis, with an estimated street value of approximately £10,000.
Around 120 of the cannabis plants, all of which were in the attic of the property, would be classed as mature.
As part of the operation, officers from Suffolk and Norfolk Roads Policing and Firearms Unit, the Dog Unit, the Scorpion Team and resource officers targeted those who commit all forms of criminality, particularly those identified as priority crimes and crime trends.
Sergeant Jon Eaves, who was part of the search in Haughley, said: “I would describe this as a large cannabis growth for a domestic property.
“Investigations are continuing, and we will be investigating the infrastructure around him and how the drug was going to be disposed of.
“Our general aim is to demonstrate that we’re actively seeking criminals heavily involved in drug production, and to investigate crime.
“It’s important to us to us from the perspective that someone is selling it and profiting from other people’s misfortune.
“It could fall into the hands of young or vulnerable people.
“Why should people benefit from something that is clearly illegal – we’re determined to stamp out this behaviour.”
Sgt Eaves added that the force relies on intelligence from the local community, and said that if anyone had any intelligence they wanted to share, they should call 101.
A number of warrants were executed across the county.
In Haverhill a 20-year-old man from Romford was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and a 36-year-old woman and a 32-year-old woman, both from Haverhill, were arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug. All three currently remain in Bury Police Investigation Centre.
In Ipswich a 19-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug, a 28-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and possession of Class B or C drug, a 28-year-old from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and a 57-year-old man from Ipswich was arrested on suspicion of possession of Class B or C drug. All four are currently in Martlesham Police Investigation Centre.
A warrant was conducted in Felixstowe and a 19-year-old man from the town was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images. He has been bailed to return to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre on April 19.
A 57-year-old from Lowestoft was also arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images after a warrant was executed in the town. He has been bailed to return to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre on April 26.
To the west of the county, a 32-year-old man from Bury St Edmunds was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images, and has been bailed to return to Bury Police Investigation Centre on May 3.
A number of vehicles were stopped and checked for defects and links to illegal activity at the Beacon Hill Services on the A14/A140 in Coddenham as well yesterday.
Partner agencies of the force, including the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Trading Standards, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out vehicle and passenger checks.
At the road check, 39 vehicles were escorted onto the site between 8.30am and 3.30pm.
Five vehicles were clear of any offences, while four were issued with immediate prohibitions, taking them off the road.
Eleven vehicles were given delayed prohibitions, with motorists having to rectify faults as soon as possible.
One motorist was tested positive for red diesel by HMRC, and paid a rebated fuel fine of £535.
Two vehicles were seized as the drivers had no insurance and three vehicle defect notification forms issued, while traffic offence reports were issued to two people for having no insurance, 11 people for driving while using a mobile phone and six people for driving a vehicle with no MoT.
Trading Standards issued seven advice notices to traders and officers also dealt with one vehicle with an incorrect index mark, one with a defective tyre and reported one vehicle to the DVLA as the driver had no tax.
A total of 23 advisory notices were issued.
There were also more than 50 drugs searches, via the passive drugs dogs and officers searching individuals and vehicles, and a small amount of a controlled substance was seized and one person reported for summons.
Inspector Julian Ditcham was pleased with the results and said the vehicle checks were aimed to deliver a strong enforcement message across the county covering road traffic offences, drug offences and acquisitive crime.
He added: “What we’re trying to do is target vehicles on the A140 and A14 that have committed a moving traffic offence around the ‘fatal four’ (drink and/or drug driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone).
“We’re also checking vehicles that are in an unroadworthy condition and vehicle that have activated our automatic number plate recognition system where criminals are linked to vehicles.”
However, Shakeel Sadiq, a motorist whose vehicle was checked by officers, did not think too highly of the operation.
He said: “I just think it’s a waste of time.
“There are people doing crimes and terrorist attacks going on and police are more bothered about pulling vehicles over.
“People are doing their jobs – I’m doing deliveries and I’ve been held up and I’m now running late.”
Insp Ditcham said: “We’re delivering a strong enforcement message as well as some road safety advice – to make our roads a safer place.
“We are targeting criminals that use our roads and stopping vehicles that are in a poor condition or driven in a manner that could cause danger to other road users.”
Acting Inspector Andrew Martin, who ran the operation said: “This operation successfully targeted criminals committing all types of offences across the county, ranging from drugs to motor offences, as well as helping to protect the vulnerable.
“Pro-active days such as this send a clear message to those operating in Suffolk that their illegal actions will not be tolerated, and that we are dedicated to making Suffolk a safer place to live, work and visit.”