Drug officers swoop on cannabis den

DRUGS officers swooped on a property in Ipswich this morning to expose a cannabis factory.

DRUGS officers swooped on a property in Ipswich this morning to expose a cannabis factory.

Police carried out the raid around 9am in Dover Road after receiving intelligence of illegal activity.

Around 25 plain clothed and uniformed officers attended the address and after breaking down the door discovered equipment and cannabis leaves worth several thousands of pounds.

An engineer from EDF Energy was also on standby to ensure once police entered the property it was safe and there were no potential hazards.

Detective Inspector Steve Clabburn, of Suffolk Constabulary's drugs team, said: “After a quick check of the premises it was established that there was no one present.

“It is quite clear from what we have seen inside that there has been a cannabis factory in operation here - and quite recently by the look of the equipment and some of the property within the premises.

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“Its disappointing that no one is here at present but obviously enquiries will continue and we will look at the forensic evidence that we gather from the property.

“Clearly we are also grateful for the assistance of the community in all these operations and will be speaking to neighbours and the landlord as well.”

Although officers did not find any plants at the address there was a large amount of kit associated with growing cannabis including heating and lighting equipment, fans, pots of soil and cannabis leaves.

“There was all the hydroponic equipment you would expect to find,” DI Clabburn said. “There was also quite a substantial amount of what appears to be cannabis leaf material. This is what is commonly referred to as skunk and by far and away the most potent form of cannabis over the last few years.”

A number of cannabis factories have been discovered in Ipswich recently and DI Clabburn said it was an issue the force was taking extremely seriously.

“There has been a noticeable increase in cannabis factories over the last five or six years - not just in Suffolk but nationally,” he said. “It is a problem that we are taking extremely seriously and operations such as today demonstrate that we will take action.

“However around 93% of all cannabis factories are in premises such as this in residential areas so we do rely on information from members of the public.

“There are certain tell tale signs that people should look out for and I would ask individuals to continue to be vigilant.

“If they are not sure then, by all means, they should give us a call and we will come and check it out and find out one way or another.”

Some tell tale signs to look out for

New people moving into the property

Curtains being always closed

Lights are turned on at strange times of day

A pungent smell coming from the property

Bins not being put out regularly

Unusual comings and goings at strange times of day