Police crack down on cannabis farms

New Inspector Geoff Carter at South Kirkby NPT
New Inspector Geoff Carter at South Kirkby NPT

POLICE in West Yorkshire have uncovered more cannabis farms than any other force in the country.

A report by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) revealed that 936 factories - or 42 factories per 100,000 people - were found by officers last year.

Insp Geoff Carter, from the South Kirkby neighbourhood police team, said the figures were due to the work carried out by local police teams and the support of the community.

He said: “The key to continuing cracking down on cannabis production is community intelligence. Everything is treated with the strictest confidence and we have significant success rates based on the information residents come forward with. Things to look out for include a distinctive smell, odd comings and goings, properties that are only visited occasionally and people taking hydroponics and lighting equipment into their homes.”

The NPT’s latest raid was carried out on Kinsley Street, Kinsley, on Tuesday. Officers found four cannabis plants and the male occupant was cautioned.

Within the last ten days, two people have been committed to crown court for trial after searches by the NPT uncovered cannabis farms last year.

Darren Robert Jones, 32, of Willow Garth, South Elmsall, will appear before Leeds Crown Court on June 6 charged with producing cannabis and dishonestly wasting or diverting electricity at an address on Smeaton Road, Upton, in July 2011.

And Lee Walker, 33, will face charges of producing cannabis and dishonestly diverting or wasting electricity at Leeds Crown Court on May 22. The offences are alleged to have happened at his home address on of Elder Avenue, Upton, in October last year.

Anyone with any information about cannabis production or related drug crime should call the NPT on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.