21/06/2017 Middlesbrough

Unconnected Cannabis Farms Found in Neighbouring Properties Following Fire in Middlesbrough

Emergency services called to a fire in Middlesbrough found two unconnected cannabis farms in neighbouring properties.

Police and Fire Services attended an address on Lansdowne Road, Middlesbrough, at around 11.40pm on Sunday evening, 18th June.

Officers located a substantial cannabis farm of around 120 plants on the first floor and in the loft, which had set alight. Fortunately, the property was empty at the time of the fire.

The fire spread to an adjoining property, and when officers entered the neighbouring address they came across a further 12 plants in a completely separate and unconnected cannabis farm. A man was interviewed and cautioned with regards to the 12 plants.

A further cannabis farm was discovered in Grangetown at around 7pm on Thursday 15th June, again after a report of a fire. 15 mature cannabis plants were found in an address on Arundel Road. A 52-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of production of a class B drug and possession of a class B drug. He has been released from custody without bail whilst enquiries continue.

Police have previously warned that dangerous wiring which is used to bypass electricity meters proves to be a fire hazard at a number of cannabis farms which are discovered, therefore potentially putting lives at risk.

Acting Detective Sergeant Sion Prince, from Cleveland Community Drugs Enforcement Team, said: “The methods used in providing the large amounts of power needed for cannabis farms frequently involves unlawfully diverting the electricity supply, this is usually done by amateurs and causes a very serious fire hazard. It is lucky that nobody has been hurt in this latest incident.

“In many of the cannabis farms police deal with; we see danger signs such as scorching marks around the electrical equipment which has been installed for the farm.

“In addition to the electricity there is often a great deal of water and other materials all of which adds to the risks. The farms are dangerous places and they put the lives of those both inside the address, and in any adjoining properties, at risk.

“If anyone suspects that there is a cannabis farm in a property nearby or if a property may be used to store or supply drugs, please contact police.”

Anyone with information regarding drugs activity in their area is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, the Cleveland Drugs Enforcement Team confidential line on 0800 929 702 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.