VIDEO: Are you living next door to a cannabis farm?

Wirral Globe: PCSO Claire Sopp and Constable Charlie Farley at the "pop-up" cannabis farm in Liscard. PCSO Claire Sopp and Constable Charlie Farley at the "pop-up" cannabis farm in Liscard.

CANNABIS farms grow more than just drugs but how do you spot one that may be under your nose?

With an estimated 500,000 people growing cannabis in the UK – roughly one person on every street – it is highly likely that someone near you is participating in the illegal activity.

As Merseyside Police take part in a month-long crackdown on tackling organised gangs who operate cannabis farms across both sides of the river, a huge focus has been placed on making people aware of the signs of the harmful drug, with replica cannabis farms “popping up” in various locations – including Liscard’s Cherry Tree Shopping Centre.

The “pop up” farm, which was set up in a vacant unit in the shopping centre on Friday, is used to catch the eye of shoppers and give them an insight into what could be happening next door.

With heat lamps, artificial lighting as well as bundles of bank notes, fake guns and white power, the replica shop shows how cannabis farms are linked to more sinister things like organised crime and violence. 

Liscard’s dedicated officer, Cons Charlie Farley, was on hand to explain the repercussions of cannabis production and with the help of PCSOs, handed out “Scratch and Sniff” cards to passers-by.

“It is all about making people aware,” said PC Farley, who told the Globe Friday’s operation led to a positive response and even helped to gather vital intelligence.

“It’s a good initiative because there is so much that people don’t know about cannabis and its production.

“A lot of people don’t know what it smells like – it’s a hard smell to describe – so we’ve been handing out the cards so that it gives them an idea of what to look out for.

“We have had some people who have told us where it’s going on, they’ve said which streets to go to and after using the cards, they’ve said that they have smelled it in certain places.”

Despite the positive response from some, Cons Farley said some people said they should “let them get on with it”.

“Some have said, ‘What’s the problem?’ but they don’t understand the repercussions that come with cannabis production – like rival gangs, and even bridged electricity metres which could be a fire hazard.”

Cons Farley added: “It’s also about cannabis use and teaching people the signs of it.

“What I find in the job is that when we arrest kids for possession, their parents have no idea that they have been using it because they don’t know the smell.”

The cannabis crackdown is being led by the force’s Matrix Serious Organised Crime (MSOC) unit and is taking place in every corner of the force area – Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley.

Neighbourhood officers and specialist cannabis dismantling teams already discover several cannabis farms each day in Merseyside but the month of action aims to build on that success and send a clear message to those behind the farms that the police will not tolerate the production and sale of cannabis on the streets of Merseyside.

See a video of the pop-up farm below.

How to spot a cannabis farm.
1. Strong, stickly smell given off by cannabis plants.
2. Cannabis growing equipment being taken into a house eg lighting and ventilation equipment.
3. Constantly covered or blocked-off windows.
4. Strong and constant lighting day and night.
5. High levels of heat and condensation.
6. Constant buzz of ventilation.
7. Lots of power cables.
8. Unsociable coming and going at all hours.

If you suspect you have come into contact with a cannabis farm call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or Merseyside Police on 101.

 

Comments (14)

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4:57pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Thepleb says...

HOW TO SPOT A CANNABIS FARM SOUNDS LIKE WALLASEY TOWN HALL, LIGHTS ON PERMANENTLY,HIGH LEVELS OF HEAT,CABLES EVERYWHERE FOR ALL THAT NEW REFURBISHMENT,PEOPLE GOING IN AND OUT AT STRANGE TIMES THROUGH THEIR SECRET BACK/SIDE ENTRANCE.
OBVIOUSLY SAMPLING THE GOODS THE AMOUNT OF BAD AND STRANGE DECISIONS THEY MAKE.
HOW TO SPOT A CANNABIS FARM SOUNDS LIKE WALLASEY TOWN HALL, LIGHTS ON PERMANENTLY,HIGH LEVELS OF HEAT,CABLES EVERYWHERE FOR ALL THAT NEW REFURBISHMENT,PEOPLE GOING IN AND OUT AT STRANGE TIMES THROUGH THEIR SECRET BACK/SIDE ENTRANCE. OBVIOUSLY SAMPLING THE GOODS THE AMOUNT OF BAD AND STRANGE DECISIONS THEY MAKE. Thepleb
  • Score: 6

5:48pm Fri 7 Feb 14

PJ Reynolds says...

Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? In Britain, 30% of us use cannabis in our lifetime, three million people use it at least once per month and we consume more than three tonnes every day. The idea that we can prevent people using it is nonsense.

We waste £500 million every year on police, court and prison resources for cannabis alone when a large proportion of society uses it without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal.

The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. Professor Terrie Moffitt of the Institute of Psychiatry said recently that cannabis is "safe for over 18s". If we took responsibility and introduced a tax and regulate system we could protect children far more effectively than we do at present.

We could have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy.

Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that "there is no medicinal value in cannabis", it has granted an unlawful monopoly to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine!

Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) published independent research in 2011 that shows a cannabis tax and regulate policy would provide a boost to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion pa as well as reducing all health and social harms.

The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by Big Booze, the sensation-seeking Fleet Street mafia and the GW Pharma monopoly.
Why don't we try taking a completely new approach to cannabis? In Britain, 30% of us use cannabis in our lifetime, three million people use it at least once per month and we consume more than three tonnes every day. The idea that we can prevent people using it is nonsense. We waste £500 million every year on police, court and prison resources for cannabis alone when a large proportion of society uses it without any problem at all. In fact, the only real problem with cannabis is that it's illegal. The risks to health are very small - much, much less than alcohol or tobacco. Professor Terrie Moffitt of the Institute of Psychiatry said recently that cannabis is "safe for over 18s". If we took responsibility and introduced a tax and regulate system we could protect children far more effectively than we do at present. We could have a properly regulated supply chain with no criminals involved, no theft of electricity, no human trafficking, no destruction of property and disruption of neighbourhoods. Then there would be some control over this huge market. There would be thousands of new jobs, sales would be from licensed outlets to adults only with guaranteed quality and safety. Then our police could start going after some real wrongdoing instead of trying to fight a crime that exists only because of a misguided government policy. Also, very importantly, science now proves that cannabis is one of the safest and most effective medicines for a wide range of conditions. While the government promotes the lie that "there is no medicinal value in cannabis", it has granted an unlawful monopoly to GW Pharmaceuticals to grow 20 tonnes a year for, you guessed it, medicine! Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) published independent research in 2011 that shows a cannabis tax and regulate policy would provide a boost to the UK economy of up to £9.3 billion pa as well as reducing all health and social harms. The only thing that keeps the present absurd status quo in place is weak politicians corrupted by Big Booze, the sensation-seeking Fleet Street mafia and the GW Pharma monopoly. PJ Reynolds
  • Score: 6

6:16pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ManCityNo1 says...

They know Cannabis isn't that bad, so they try to connect it with class A's, Guns and Violence ! When the truth is 99% of grows are personal and not linked to Organised Crime !
The majority of the Public know this and that is why they get told to leave them alone and let them get on with it !
Stop wasting Taxpayers Money on this and Repeal all Cannabis laws and use the Money on something more productive !
They know Cannabis isn't that bad, so they try to connect it with class A's, Guns and Violence ! When the truth is 99% of grows are personal and not linked to Organised Crime ! The majority of the Public know this and that is why they get told to leave them alone and let them get on with it ! Stop wasting Taxpayers Money on this and Repeal all Cannabis laws and use the Money on something more productive ! ManCityNo1
  • Score: -9

5:21am Sat 8 Feb 14

FreddyF says...

Prohibition ruins lives and blights communities.
Prohibition ruins lives and blights communities. FreddyF
  • Score: -2

7:04am Sat 8 Feb 14

woodsphil says...

There seems to be a far less dangerous craze hitting the streets! http://thedailyskid.
com/2014/02/05/brocc
oli-the-latest-drug-
craze-among-teenager
s/
There seems to be a far less dangerous craze hitting the streets! http://thedailyskid. com/2014/02/05/brocc oli-the-latest-drug- craze-among-teenager s/ woodsphil
  • Score: 1

7:21am Sat 8 Feb 14

Dr Martin says...

ManCityNo1 wrote:
They know Cannabis isn't that bad, so they try to connect it with class A's, Guns and Violence ! When the truth is 99% of grows are personal and not linked to Organised Crime !
The majority of the Public know this and that is why they get told to leave them alone and let them get on with it !
Stop wasting Taxpayers Money on this and Repeal all Cannabis laws and use the Money on something more productive !
99% of grows are personal?, if that is the case wouldn't that undermine a regulated system?
[quote][p][bold]ManCityNo1[/bold] wrote: They know Cannabis isn't that bad, so they try to connect it with class A's, Guns and Violence ! When the truth is 99% of grows are personal and not linked to Organised Crime ! The majority of the Public know this and that is why they get told to leave them alone and let them get on with it ! Stop wasting Taxpayers Money on this and Repeal all Cannabis laws and use the Money on something more productive ![/p][/quote]99% of grows are personal?, if that is the case wouldn't that undermine a regulated system? Dr Martin
  • Score: 3

7:48am Sat 8 Feb 14

Dr Martin says...

FreddyF wrote:
Prohibition ruins lives and blights communities.
I am all for prohibition, wish it was enforced properly though
[quote][p][bold]FreddyF[/bold] wrote: Prohibition ruins lives and blights communities.[/p][/quote]I am all for prohibition, wish it was enforced properly though Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

10:30am Sat 8 Feb 14

DeanFox says...

This is an outrageous waste of tax payers money in these austere times. Those who voted for the local police commissioner need to consider alternatives next time. The police need to have the right priorities to be effective. We want violence, theft and anti-social behaviour taken care of and are not interested in expensive anti-cannabis campaigns.
This is an outrageous waste of tax payers money in these austere times. Those who voted for the local police commissioner need to consider alternatives next time. The police need to have the right priorities to be effective. We want violence, theft and anti-social behaviour taken care of and are not interested in expensive anti-cannabis campaigns. DeanFox
  • Score: 0

10:49am Sat 8 Feb 14

Positive thinker says...

Man city man is chatting crap
Man city man is chatting crap Positive thinker
  • Score: 2

11:40pm Sat 8 Feb 14

profondo asbo says...

our lives are so hollow and empty we need to escape the mundanity of our own existence yeah. high five me spammer reynolds
our lives are so hollow and empty we need to escape the mundanity of our own existence yeah. high five me spammer reynolds profondo asbo
  • Score: 6

1:56pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Far more damage is done by legal use of alcohol and tobacco which in my simple logic is ludicrous but then I am no clever politician. HMG are even trying to discredit e.cigarettes....why.
.....well in my humble opinion they are about to lose £3/4 billion in duty and VAT due to vapers having given up cancer sticks....its just complete and utter hypocracy from the hypocrites that govern us...........bring on the revolution......oh dear, suppose they will be spying on me now
Far more damage is done by legal use of alcohol and tobacco which in my simple logic is ludicrous but then I am no clever politician. HMG are even trying to discredit e.cigarettes....why. .....well in my humble opinion they are about to lose £3/4 billion in duty and VAT due to vapers having given up cancer sticks....its just complete and utter hypocracy from the hypocrites that govern us...........bring on the revolution......oh dear, suppose they will be spying on me now Llamedos 1
  • Score: 1

6:57pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Dr Martin says...

Government will raise the tax elsewhere
Government will raise the tax elsewhere Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Positive thinker says...

It looks likes the PCSO's have been smoking it
It looks likes the PCSO's have been smoking it Positive thinker
  • Score: -5

5:08pm Sat 8 Mar 14

Dr Martin says...

Positive thinker wrote:
Man city man is chatting crap
as always
[quote][p][bold]Positive thinker[/bold] wrote: Man city man is chatting crap[/p][/quote]as always Dr Martin
  • Score: 0

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