A major cannabis farm case in Plymouth comes as a warning to landlords and letting agents that you must protect your properties and conduct regular periodic inspections.
An extensive cannabis farm was discovered over the weekend at a rental house in Plymouth city centre, after two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) detected the strong smell of the plants while patrolling the area on foot around Ilbert Street, PL1, where the property is located.
As a result of their suspicions, a team of officers used a battering ram to force their way into the building, where they discovered the marijuana plants.
A major cannabis farm was uncovered, with many plants between three and four feet high and ready to be cultivated, on Saturday night by PCSOs Luke Holman and Matt Boon.
Holman said: “Fortunately, Saturday wasn’t windy and we were able to narrow it [the smell] down to one property.
“All the windows were closed up and the curtains open. We looked through the letterbox and saw a number of air fresheners and a lot of unopened post piling up.
“We managed to get to the back of the property and view the courtyard.”
It is not yet clear who lived at the property, which one neighbour reported was managed by a local letting agency.
However, it has been suggested that the operation may have been run by a specific crime organisation.
Holman added: “The set-up was very professional. If you combine the value of the plants, how long they had been growing and the possible turnover of each crop, the value of the electricity stolen and the cost of the equipment, we can estimate that this offence involves hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“It fuels other crimes and we need the public’s help to target these offences.”
The case highlights the need for landlords or their letting agents to conduct regular periodic inspections of their properties, to uncover illegal activities and determine who’s living there.
At the same time, it’s important for landlords to ensure that their properties are protected against unauthorised alteration, which could involve your tenants transforming their rental home into a cannabis farm. This essential cover is included as standard with every one of our 5 Star rated Landlord Insurance policies. Get more information and cover here: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/landlord-insurance