Police use their nose to seize large West Norfolk drug haul

PUBLISHED: 09:20 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:20 25 June 2013

Wisbech drug raid at Sparrowgate Road where 3,500 plants were discovered.

Wisbech drug raid at Sparrowgate Road where 3,500 plants were discovered.

Norfolk Constabulary

Police swooped to seize a £250,000 drug haul after they followed their noses to raid a West Norfolk cannabis factory.

Norfolk Constabulary carried out the raid, on Sunday, June 23, at a property on Sparrowgate Road, on the outskirts of Wisbech, after local police officers noticed a strange smell in the air.

Upon entering the scene the officers discovered 3,500 cannabis plants along with growing equipment and generators - one of the largest hauls of its kind in West Norfolk.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Superintendent Carl Edwards said: “This is a major drugs seizure for West Norfolk and a successful result that demonstrates that illegal drug activity will not be tolerated in the community. Although no arrests have been made to date we are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and will bring these people to justice.”

Downham Sgt Andy Crown, who led the operation, said: “The quantity of drugs seized reflects the strength of the very distinctive smell noticed by officers on patrol in the area. Inside the address we found a sophisticated cannabis production set-up clearly destined for the streets.”

The cannabis plants were found in outbuildings around the property but as yet no arrests have been made.

Although there have been a number of drugs busts across East Anglia in recent months few have matched the scale of this one.

Back in April three people were charged with cannabis production after a raid found 1,300 plants in Long Melford, Suffolk.

In that same month 80 plants were seized from a commercial premises in Wicklewood, Norfolk, where once again officers had been alerted by a strong smell.

Following a raid last June three people were arrested and charged with cannabis production after 60 plants were discovered at a property on Glebe Road in Downham Market.

The Crimestoppers charity has campaigned to raise awareness of the issue and has asked people to use their nose and keep an eye out for signs of cannabis production.

Signs include a strong and sickly smell in the air, constant lighting, lots of cables and a constant buzz of ventilation.

While drug related crime does remain a problem cannabis possession only makes up a small number of arrests. Between November 2011 and November 2012 of more than 17,000 arrests made in Norfolk only 310 were for cannabis possession.

Anyone with further information about this incident or with information about drugs activity in their neighbourhood is asked to contact Norfolk police on 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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