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South Wales Police encouraging landlords to be on the lookout for a cannabis factory

South Wales Police encouraging landlords to be on the lookout for, and to report, suspicious activity in their properties that may indicate a cannabis factory in the area. As well as using commercial and industrial sites, cannabis growers are also using ordinary residential homes to transform into their cannabis factories.

Officers from Treherbert and Treorchy are urging landlords to look out for signs of cannabis production in a bid to tackle crime and investigate a number of incidents where properties have been targeted by cannabis cultivators looking to house their criminal activities.

Landlords who have been the victims of this type of criminal activity have reported significant levels of damage to their properties such as ceilings and walls knocked through, severe water damage, furniture destroyed or thrown away, wiring ripped out and electricity meters bypassed.

Neighbourhood Beat Manager PC Julian Williams said: “The consequences for landlords, in both financial and legal terms, can be catastrophic. I would urge landlords to carry out in-depth tenant checks insisting on photographic identification and references as well as a obtaining a verified contact numbers and vehicle details. Please be wary of tenants who want to move in very quickly and pay only in cash.”

By taking these simple steps, combined with regular inspections of the property and regular communication with neighbour, landlords will be more successful in firstly preventing and then disrupting this criminal activity.

So what are the tell-tale signs that your tenants could be running a cannabis operation?

PC Williams explains: “Watch out for strong smells, regular buzzing noises as this could indicate the presence of fans or heaters, windows that are warm to the touch and people coming and going at all hours. Also suspicious landlords should monitor electricity usage as drug cultivation requires high levels of power”.

As well as being illegal, growing cannabis is dangerous to those living in neighbouring properties.

PC Williams added: “It can be a major fire hazard due to the amount of heat generated by the number of lights and electric fans used, and in cases where the electricity supply has been tampered with. A good sign of identifying where electricity supplies are being tampered with is where you see the electrical boxes on the outside of houses vandalised or left open”.

If you suspect that a property is being used to grow cannabis, or have information of persons renting or attempting to rent property to grow cannabis, contact us by dialling 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.