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Sussex Police issue guide to spotting cannabis factories for landlords
10:50am Tuesday 9th October 2012 in News
Is there a drug factory on your street? Police have discovered rising numbers of dealers setting up in rented homes across.Sussex
A special online and print briefing “Keeping Illegal Drugs Out Of Rental Properties – A Guide For Property Managers” is being distributed to landlords' organisations throughout Sussex.
So far this year officers have discovered 44 commercial grows in residential homes in Sussex – compared with 41 in the whole of 2011.
The majority of the sites are growing cannabis, but other types of drug production are also regularly uncovered.
Last month more than 6,000 suspected ecstasy pills and 360 grams of suspected ecstasy powder, along with cocaine, a pill making machine, and several thousand pounds cash were seized when police raided an address in Saltdean.
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said: “There has recently been a noticeable increase in local cannabis cultivation especially, and amphetamine illicit drug production, in rented properties, and particularly a move from industrial or commercial sites to smaller residential properties.
“We are working with property managers and private landlords to tackle this illegal activity and to disrupt organised crime groups, who are often behind these crimes and who are often involved in other crime as well. We are determined to continue to disrupt networks like this and reduce the harm caused by this type of offending, the effects of which can have a really serious impact on local communities.”
DCI Eaton said signs to look out for include covered-over windows, no one appearing to live at a property and comings and goings at odd times.
David Cox, a senior policy officer at the National Landlords Association, said: “We welcome Sussex Police’s campaign to help reduce incidences of cannabis factories in the area. These are an ongoing problem for landlords and despite carrying out the necessary checks, we regularly hear of cases where landlords’ properties are used for illegal purposes.
“To help limit the risk of rented properties being used as cannabis factories, the NLA advises landlords to take full references from their tenants, avoid taking long term rents up-front and regularly check their properties with the tenants permission.”
The landlord’s guide is available here or below: