Crime lords who exploit vulnerable people and put communities at risk of violence were today warned they will be relentlessly pursued by police – as officers recovered over £600,000 of cannabis and arrested four people in a series of drugs raids.
Officers swooped on properties in Hyson Green, Mansfield and Stanton Hill this morning, following another search in Hyson Green yesterday.
Police were called this morning after an energy company visited a property in Noel Street, Hyson Green, to chase up a non-payment of bills and found cannabis plants inside.
A man was seen on the roof when officers arrived and when they entered the house they discovered 200 plants spreading across four floors.
A 36-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis.
The raid came a day after officers targeted an address in nearby Laurie Avenue, where they discovered around 188 plants in three upstairs bedroom and the loft.
A 34-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis.
The plants from the two properties, which are believed to have a total street value of around £400,000, have been removed by the cannabis dismantling team and destroyed.
Cannabis plants worth more than £220,000 were also seized during an early morning raid in Mansfield.
Officers from the Mansfield Operation Reacher team forced their way into a property in Laurel Avenue, Mansfield, shortly after 8.30am this morning.
Inside they found around 350 cannabis plants split between two terraced properties.
Two men, aged 22 and 20, were arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis and remain in police custody.
The plants will now be removed from the property and will now be destroyed. Other high value growing equipment will also be put beyond use.
Separately, officers also discovered the remains of a cannabis grow on the first floor and loft of a property in Co-operative Street, Stanton Hill, following a report of a burglary just before 6am today.
It appeared that the mature plants had been taken, with around 90 immature plants left behind. These have since been removed by police for destruction.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police’s, said the force would not rest in its drive to tackle organised crime groups who bring serious crime and antisocial behaviour to people’s doorsteps to fund their own lavish lifestyles.
“Make no mistake, cannabis production is not harmless – far from it,” he said.
“It is a serious offence that is often linked to organised criminality and a range of serious offences – from significant incidents of violence to people trafficking.
“Vulnerable children or adults are often exploited and forced by organised crime groups to stay at the properties – often in dangerous and unsanitary conditions – to tend to the plants.
“Unsuspecting neighbouring families are also often put at risk by cannabis farms which can be targeted in violent home invasions by rivals gangs as they try to steal the crop.
“They can also be put at risk of house fires by incredibly dangerous electrical wiring and bypassing that we very often see with these types of grows.
“Landlords can also be unsuspecting victims when their properties are rented out by organised criminals who then knock down walls or cause significant damage to properties to make space for their growing operation.
“All of this risk to communities is being created by crime bosses who don’t care one jot about the dangers or misery they are creating in our communities. All they care about is lining their own pockets.
“Anyone living near an operation like this should be quite rightly worried about the risks they pose.
“But I would like to reassure them that Nottinghamshire Police is here to keep people safe – as we have shown in these recent warrants.
“If anyone has any suspicions about this type of criminal activity, I would urge them to let us know as soon as possible so we can act to keep their neighbourhoods safe.
“All of the reasons I’ve highlighted show why we will always act on intelligence about cannabis grows and we will continue to relentlessly pursue those who are behind the growing of cannabis.”
Anyone with information about cannabis production or dealing is urged to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.