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Cannabis Farms Grow Across City


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Sixteen cannabis farms have been uncovered this year in Milton Keynes but Assistant Chief Constable George Wilson believes others remain undiscovered.

Residents have been urged to report any suspicious activity and landlords have also been alerted to the possibility of tenants who convert their properties into farms to cultivate cannabis - an illegal class C drug.

ACC Wilson said: "Milton Keynes was unaffected until this year but now it's an increasing problem because of the way organised criminal groups are spreading from London.

"We know from arrests that a significant amount of farms are run by Vietnamese individuals.

"We're probably finding most of the farms but there could be others we don't know about."

According to police the majority of cases involve ordinary terraced or semi-detached houses which are specifically bought or rented for the sole purpose of growing cannabis.

Houses are kitted out with special hydroponic equipment which can produce up to UKP70,000 worth of cannabis every 11 or 12 weeks.

ACC Wilson said: "During the last 12 months Thames Valley Police has seen a marked increase in Vietnamese linked cannabis houses.

"These farms can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to the properties.

"In many cases the electricity is by-passed which could cause electrocution or even a fire." He added that some criminals install booby traps including window and door frames wired to the electricity.

In April police uncovered a secret cannabis farm in Bletchley, at the home of murdered electrician Doug Belcher.

They found UKP10,000 of fully cultivated cannabis plants through a passage beneath the staircase.

Thames Valley Police have issued a list of warning signs including windows which are permanently covered from the inside, visitors at unusual times of the day or night and a pungent smell coming from the premises.

Source: MK News (UK)
Copyright: 2007 Local Sunday Newspaper Ltd
Contact: editor@mk-news.co.uk
Website: MK News
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