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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 26 June 2014

A Scottish Power Electrician embedded with Police's Cannabis Dismantling Team examined the meter and wiring and found it had been bridged, effectively rendering the electricity supplier unable to tell how much electricity was being used and allowing the criminal to use as much electricity they wanted, without it being detected. (its estimated that this theft of electricity amounted to tens of thousands of pounds if the farm had been in operation for 1 year)

A total of 130 plants were found in the house, including cannabis being dried in the bathroom, and grown in tubs in upstairs bedroom. Also in the property were 24 hot lamps and transformers and various fans and heaters.

130 plants are capable of producing around £1,000 worth of drugs per crop (12 week cycle). If the plant is then replaced with a new plant in the same space in the growing room, another £1000 worth of drugs can be grown. 12 week cycles means four yields per year. So a 130 plant sized farm could in theory, if it goes undetected, produce £520,000 worth of cannabis per year.

No-one has been arrested in connection with this crime, but investigations are still on going.

Other resent examples for fires started this ware are as follows:-

Firefighters found 51 cannabis plants after they were called to a fire in a flat at a block of flats. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was called at 6.21am, on Tuesday, 11 February 2014, to Jason Street, Everton. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire and searched the flat to make sure no one was inside. The fire was extinguished by 6.52am. The fire involved a flat on the 14th floor of the building. 2 fire appliances from Kirkdale Community Fire Station and 1 from Liverpool City Community Fire Station attended the call out.

Firefighters discovered around 100 cannabis plants when they were called to a fire at a property in St Helens, which had no smoke alarms. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was called at 10.30pm, on Monday, 27 January 2014, to a property in Morris Street, St Helens. By 11.12pm firefighters were ventilating the property and tackling fire hot spots in the building. 2 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose jet to extinguish the fire in a 1st floor bedroom. There were no smoke alarms in the building where the fire took place. The suspected cause of the fire was an electrical fault.

Firefighters have extinguished a barn fire and discovered a cannabis farm with around 100 plants. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was called at 9.32am, on 22 November 2013, to the unoccupied 2 storey barn at The Green, Raby, on the Wirral. When firefighters arrived they found the upper right hand floor involved in fire. The fire was extinguished by 10.42am and firefighters checked for any further fire spread and hot spots. Firefighters discovered a cannabis farm at the location. The suspected cause of the fire was accidental due to cannabis cultivation equipment.

Firefighters discovered a cannabis farm after being called to a collision involving 2 cars. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was called at 12.34pm, on Tuesday, 31 July 2013, to Rathbone Road in Old Swan. 1 of the cars involved in the collision had damaged a gas pipe on the exterior of a property. Firefighters used dammit paste to stem the gas leak from the damaged pipe and isolated gas supplies to two nearby flats. Firefighters also requested a structural engineer to check the building for damage. A gas engineer was also requested to attend. When firefighters entered a flat on the road to isolate the gas supply to the first floor of the building they found the cannabis farm, which included around 100 plants. Police were on scene and took charge of the location.

If you know or think you have seen a cannabis farm, please report it to Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111 or to the Police via:- 101 and help to keep our area crime free and safe.

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