• Neighbours should keep an eye for industrial looking equipment going into the house.
• Neighbours – you are the key. You should be suspicious if people are coming and going from the premises often and only staying for short amounts of time.
• You should also look for blacked out windows and there may also be considerable heat coming from the premises.
Drugs are a problem which can lurk closer than you probably think. But it is possible for you to do your bit to stamp it out – all you need to know is what to look for. DSI Steve Benson Davison from South Wales Police has some helpful tips on how to tell if your neighbour is growing drugs:
• Landlords – be aware that the individual paying the rent will usually want to pay cash up front and will try to encourage no visiting from the landlord. It’s a good idea for landlords to visit their properties and keep an eye out for tell-tale signs, like a strong smell coming from the premises or windows being blacked out.
• Another tell-tale sign is when people move in and very soon after there is considerable building work taking place inside the property.
• The growing farms for drugs are referred to as ‘factories’. The way in which the drugs are grown can vary from single plants in houses to a large scale cannabis production. The most common type of factory is found in residential houses. Walls are often knocked down so you are left with an empty shell that has been turned into a giant enclosed green house.
• Look for signs of big external fans being fitted or the electrical supply to the house being tampered with.
• Landlords should also be suspicious if the tenant wants to meet in a different place other than the house to pay rent or discuss the property.
Many then employ illegal immigrants to ‘farm’ the thousands of plants they grow in every room, often after they have hacked the electricity supply at the mains – so they don’t even end up paying for the heat and light.
Police say a “good proportion” of intelligence comes from the community, and with our helpful guide, you might be able to help clean up your streets by providing information that could lead to arrests.
Growers live in constant fear that their home grown farms will be discovered by police, landlords or rival drug dealers. If there are padlocks on the gates, massive grilles and double and triple locks on the doors, that should raise eyebrows – especially if the street is relatively safe. On bigger, high value farms, portcullises, bars on the windows and even CCTV cameras can be evident.
Cannabis is one of the most widely available illicit drugs in New Zealand. It comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and contains the active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The more THC in a plant, the stronger its effects when used as a drug.
What does cannabis look like?
If it is a first offence and the amount of cannabis in their possession does not constitute enough for supply they will be dealt with by the Police Youth Aid section using a number of options. These include:
Cannabis laws and penalties
Penalties associated with cannabis range from a $500 fine for possession to a 14 year jail term for its supply or manufacture.