Cannabis factories 'are growing problem'

SUFFOLK police have admitted they are concerned about the growing number of cannabis factories being uncovered in the county - following the latest bust in a quiet village.

Anthony Bond

SUFFOLK police have admitted they are concerned about the growing number of cannabis factories being uncovered in the county - following the latest bust in a quiet village.

A fully-operational cannabis farm, including 300 plants and growing equipment, was discovered at a home in Stonham Aspal, near Stowmarket, yesterday.

It is the latest in a series of raids by Suffolk police in the past month in which cannabis farms have been found at properties and they admitted it was an increasing problem.

Detective Inspector David Rutterford said: “It is a trend which is increasing but not just in Suffolk, it is happening right across the country.

“But there is a degree of concern for the amount of cannabis farms that we are uncovering.

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“It is very important that we work with the community to shut these premises down. They tend to bring disorder and anti-social behaviour and if local people find out that premises are being used as cannabis factories then this can lead to instances of people breaking in and assaults occurring.”

Members of the public in Stonham Aspal contacted the police after they became suspicious that the house in Does Field, off The Street, was being used to grow drugs.

When police searched the property they found all of the rooms had been divided up for cannabis growing.

There was ventilation equipment, extractor fans and the electricity supply had been bypassed. The occupant of the rented property had been sleeping on a mattress in the kitchen.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis and is in custody at Bury St Edmunds Police Station. Police said they did not yet know the street value of the haul.

Neighbours expressed shock at the discovery but said they had been suspicious for a while.

Raymond Wright, 59, has lived in the village for 37 years and said nothing like this had happened before.

“We just knew that something was going on because the curtains were never open and we never saw anyone who lived there. You hear so much of it on the TV and read about it that it was bound to happen here sooner or later,” he said.

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “We are such a quiet community and very peaceful and we all get on so well. We laughed and joked that we thought something was going on but it is a shock. It is a bit strange because you would have thought that cannabis factories would be out of the way somewhere.”

The police said the premises had now being completely cleared and anyone with suspicions about properties being used as cannabis farms should contact them.

“If people in the community have concerns about the activities going on in their neighbourhood where they feel that cannabis farms may be operational then please contact the police and we will investigate it,” said DI Rutterford.

On Wednesday police seized more than 300 cannabis plants at a house in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, while two other cannabis factories have been discovered at houses in the town in the last month.

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