Bobbies sniff out Yarmouth drugs haul

STEPHEN PULLINGER Two police officers walking their beat in Yarmouth sniffed out a sophisticated cannabis factory being run in the front bedroom of a terrace house.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

Two police officers walking their beat in Yarmouth sniffed out a sophisticated cannabis factory in the front bedroom of a terrace house.

Sgt Dan Smith and his colleague PC Andy Biglin became suspicious of a pungent odour as they were passing a home in Isaacs Road, Cobholm, early on Wednesday afternoon so returned to the property an hour later with reinforce-ments.

Sgt Smith said: "We knocked on the door and when the householder opened it the smell was so overpowering we arrested him on the spot."

Police discovered a front bedroom had been turned into a sophisticated propagation unit with 30 cannabis plants, with a street value of £115 each, being grown under four industrial lights. The bathroom was being used as a nursery for young plants.

A 31-year-old man at the house was arrested and interviewed at Yarmouth police station. He was later released on police bail pending further inquiries.

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Sgt Smith, who heads the Southtown and Cobholm neighbourhood police team, said: "We had no knowledge of this drugs factory. It was a success for the good old-fashioned policeman's nose. Neighbourhood policing is all about getting back on the streets and this shows how it pays off."

He said it was later discovered the smell outside had only been so intense because carbon filters on extractor fans had broken, so odours from within the house were not being dispersed.

The discovery follows another drugs raid in Cobholm in October when 600 plants of skunk, the most potent type of cannabis, with a street value of £60,000, were found in property less than 100m from Yarmouth's busy Haven Bridge.

That seizure represented the biggest by Norfolk police during Operation Atone, a countywide clampdown on cannabis factories launched in September.

Sgt Smith has organised a public meeting at 7pm on January 10 in the community centre at St Luke's Church, Cobholm, to listen to people's issues and problems.

He said: "The police team will be joined by a housing officer and we want to hear about the entire spectrum of issues from dog mess and poor lighting to drugs and serious violent crime."

He said his neighbourhood team was already aware of parking problems in Cobholm, with people ignoring double yellow lines, and incidence of anti-social behaviour along Mill Road.