A major cannabis farm was discovered over the weekend at a house in Plymouth city centre after two police community support officers (PCSOs) detected the strong smell of the plants whilst patrolling the area on foot around Ilbert Street, PL1, where the property is located.
As a result of their suspicions, a team of officers used a battering ram to force their way into the building, where they discovered the marijuana plants.
Hundreds of cannabis plants were found, many between three and four feet, on Saturday night by PCSOs Luke Holman and Matt Boon from the Stonehouse neighbourhood team.
PCSO Holman told The Herald: “Fortunately Saturday wasn’t windy and we were able to narrow it [the smell] down to one property.
“All the windows were closed up and the curtains open. We looked through the letter box and saw a number of air fresheners and a lot of unopened post piling up.
“We managed to get to the back of the property and view the courtyard.”
It is not yet clear who lived at the property, which one neighbour said was managed by a local letting agency.
But it has been suggested that the operation may have been run by a specific crime organisation, such as the notorious Vietnamese crime gangs.
PCSO Holman added: “The set up was very professional. If you combine the value of the plants, how long they had been growing and the possibly turnover of each crop, the value of the electricity stolen and the cost of the equipment, we can estimate that this offence involves hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“If fuels other crimes and we need the public’s help to target these offences.”