Com­mu­nity in shock Call for in­for­ma­tion af­ter po­lice raid

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By PHILLIP THOMP­SON

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

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