Three men have been arrested and a large number of cannabis plants seized after a major police operation in Ripon.
Ripon-based officers were deployed to the premises in the city on Sunday, alongside North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, Roads Policing Group and firearms officers, where a sophisticated cannabis grow was discovered.
- A 36-year-old man was arrested at the premises on suspicion of conspiracy to produce a class B drug and fraud offences.
- Two other men, aged 28 and 26, from the West Yorkshire area, were arrested on suspicion of possessing a class A drug and conspiracy to produce a class B drug, after the van they were in was stopped by Roads Policing Group officers a short distance away.
Enquiries are ongoing at the premises. The three men have been released on bail as the investigation continues.
Sergeant Kevin Kelly, of the Rural Taskforce, said:
People should be alert to the signs of cannabis cultivation in their area, and report any suspicions they have to the police – we will take action.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers. You may also be able to claim a reward from Crimestoppers if your information leads directly to the arrest and charge of suspects.
North Yorkshire Police are also appealing for people to look out for the signs of drugs:
- A strong and sickly sweet smell
- Equipment being taken into a house. For example, lighting and ventilation equipment.
- Constantly covered or blocked-off windows. Cannabis factories often have constantly closed curtains, black-out blinds or foil coverings.
- Unsociable coming and going at all hours or neighbours you never see.
- Strong and constant lighting day and night.
- High levels of heat and condensation. Cannabis factories often give off heat and the windows stay misted up.
- Constant buzz of ventilation. Listen out for a whirring sound as the growers try to create an ideal climate for the plants to grow.
- Lots of power cables. Gangs dig underground to lay cables that hook up to things like lamp posts so they don’t have to pay for the enormous amounts of electricity they use. They can easily bypass a £20,000 utility bill.
If you are a landlord or letting agent, be aware of potential tenants who pay a large amount of rent in advance and in cash, go out of their way to prevent you visiting the premises, offer to improve exterior fortifications.
To report any suspicions you have, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.