Police urge vigilance on drugs cultivation

Police in Ballymoney and Moyle have issued a timely reminder advising landlords and agents about the telltale signs of cannabis cultivation.

District Commander Chief Superintendent Nigel Goddard explains: "Previous investigations have shown that many of the properties used as factories for cannabis cultivation were in the private rental sector. In December of last year an outbuilding used as a cannabis factory caught on fire just outside Portglenone causing considerable damage.

"Fortunately no one was injured as result of the fire however if this had been a house or in a built up residential area the consequences could have been much worse.

n Police have produced an information leaflet, advising landlords and agents on telltale signs of cannabis cultivation, the potential damage to their businesses and how to get help.

n The abstraction of large amounts of electricity for cannabis cultivation can present very real and dangerous risks. We would ask people to remain vigilant and look out for the following signs."

n Windows blacked out in premises with possible condensation

n Pungent, unusual smells

n Unusual activity at premises

Chief Superintendent Goddard adds:

n Police have been successful in shutting down cannabis factories right across Northern Ireland. While we do not want the public to be overly alarmed we would encourage vigilance and ask landlords to make regular checks of their properties."

Anyone with information about suspicious activity is asked to contact their local police on 0845 600 8000. Anyone who would like an advice leaflet is asked to contact their local police or download it from the PSNI website www.psni.police.uk (click on Crime Prevention)