Fleetwood Police have fired off a warning salvo to would-be cannabis growers in the wake of two recent drug factories being raided in the town.
In the last couple of weeks officers issued warrants on premises on Lord Street and Walmsley steet Street where two small, separate operations involving only a few plants were discovered.
These developments followed the discovery of a much bigger £600,000 find on Siding Road, Fleetwood at the end of last year and two factories on Adelaide Street last July.
Officers are keen to stamp out any perceptions that growing cannabis commercially is an easy way to make money.
Sgt Dan Whitaker, of Fleetwood Police, said: “Cultivating cannabis is still an offence, no matter what some people think about that.
“Not only will we dismantle the equipment used and destroy the plants and the drugs processed, we can freeze and remove the assets of the people involved.Using the Proceeds of Crime Act, we can look through their bank accounts with or without their consent and money made from selling drugs will be in real danger of confiscation.
It is not an easy way to make money, it carries a great deal of risk
“In addition to that, there is also the chance of serious sentences in the courts.
“It is not an easy way to make money, it carries a great deal of risk.”
The police raids were conducted after intelligence was received from the public, and Sgt Whitaker called on residents to remain vigilant.
He said: “Drugs are not harmless, they cause various problems in our communities.
“So we always welcome the help of the public.
“There are several signs of this kind of drug growing operation in the local community. The public should be aware of the distinctive smell of the drug, the use of properties with sealed-up windows, unusual comings and goings and people bringing in suspiciously latge amounts of fetilizer.”
Although cannabis is thought by some to be effective as a pain killer and even a fertility aid, leading to calls of legalisation, it has also been linked to cases of serious mental illness.
In the latest incident on Lord Street, only a few plants were discovered but police say they don’t know if some of the drugs had been harvested. A 20 year old man is on police bail until June.