Community in shock Call for information after police raid
RESIDENTS of a Cheltenham street are in a state of shock after witnessing the ‘drama of a police raid’ on a cannabis farm.
The Serious and Organised Crime Operations Team discovered a factory on Brunswick Street, in St Paul’s, ‘capable of producing £500,000-worth of drugs every year.”
Inside a terraced house in the street police found 153 plants in a large-scale operation.
It is just one of a number of recent operations; the previous night officers called to the scene of a fire in Gloucester’s Llanthony Road led to the discovery of an ‘industrial scale’ drug den.
A spokesperson for St Paul’s Road Area Residents Association (SPRA) said: “Brunswick Street is just like any other street in St Paul’s, a mixture of families, older people, students and professionals, so it will be a shock to people.
“It must be worrying having a cannabis factory next door to you not least because of the fire risk.
“Not to mention the drama of the police raid.”
A member of the SPRA was quick to visit the scene following the news of the police raid.
They said: “Walking past the police have opened all the windows and there is no smell coming out, which is what you’d expect.”
A number of people were concerned that it had been undiscovered for so long, and the member for SPRA added: “What signs should people be looking for?”
Councillor Karl Hobley (LD, St Pauls) said: “Of course nobody wants this sort of criminal activity happening in their neighbourhood.
“I share residents’ surprise at the scale of this ‘factory’ and I’m very grateful to police for acting to shut it down.
“What is positive about this incident is that police say it was an intelligence lead operation. “It is vital local people continue to report any suspicions or concerns they have to police, or anonymously to Crimestoppers if they prefer.
“It is only with this intelligence that police can successfully tackle such organised crime. “Sadly though, until such a time as the government changes its approach to tackling drugs we will continue to see houses like this, houses that could have been providing a local family a home, used for growing cannabis all over the country. “The drugs trade helps fund gangsters and violent criminals who profit from the misery of others. That’s why the government should decriminalise and regulate drugs like cannabis.
“Only by doing that will we remove the power from criminals and help those who suffer from drug addiction, which must be treated as an illness.” phillip.thomp[email protected]plc.com
Police uncovered a cannabis factory in Brunswick Street, Cheltenham