A 24-year-old man has been arrested (see photograph below) after officers executed a misuse of drugs warrant at an address in Blackpool. Police Officers from Blackpool’s Task Force and Neighbourhood Policing teams were joined by partners from Blackpool Council, in gaining entry to a disused business premises in the town.
Officers discovered approximately 800 cannabis plants, which were recovered at the scene. Evidence was also found that the electricity meter had been by-passed (see photograph below), causing significant disruption throughout the premises. Electricity Northwest attended the address to make the premise safe due to the risk presented.
The man, of no fixed address, was arrested and has since been charged with two offences – being concerned in the production of a controlled drug and abstracting electricity.
Inspector Jon Campbell-Smith of Blackpool Central Neighbourhood Policing Team said: ‘Blackpool Police are committed to identifying and tackling large cannabis farms in the area which have strong links to both organised crime and modern slavery. The risks that modern slavery poses to people cannot be underestimated. This can range from people who are sometimes forced to maintain these farms, to the wider community whose lives are affected daily by this criminality.’
He continued, ‘While I appreciate some may see cannabis cultivation as a minor offence, dismantling and targeting this activity will remain a priority for local officers. Some of the dangers are often hidden, such as the risk of fires and use of electrics. Working with intelligence from partners and the community, we will continue to act on information where the people of Blackpool are put at risk.’