Cannabis farm found inside Ashington home

More than £2million worth of drugs have been seized by police during a four-month long crackdown in Ashington.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 11:00 am
The cannabis farm found by police in Ashington.
The cannabis farm found by police in Ashington.

Operation Momentum was launched in October in a bid to tackle drug supply and misuse across the town.

The most recent success came last Tuesday as officers responding to a Covid-19 breach followed their noses and uncovered a £40,000 cannabis farm inside a home.

Shortly before 7pm, officers attended an address in the Hirst area and immediately noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from the property.

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Inside, they located plants with a value of around £40,000 in the front living room of the Castle Terrace property.

Five people found within the address were arrested on suspicion of drug charges.

Inspector Phil Patterson, of the Ashington Neighbourhood Policing Team, has praised his officers – and believes Operation Momentum is making a significant difference in the town.

He said: “Operation Momentum is a large scale initiative to target organised criminality with an emphasis on ridding the streets of drugs.

“We are working hand-in-hand with our communities and partners, such as the local authority, to disrupt and tackle organised criminality.

“With regards to the cannabis farm uncovered, quite often these illicit operations attract anti-social behaviour and the proceeds can be used by organised criminals to fund other types of serious crime.

“We would always encourage anybody who suspects drug misuse or supply in their communities to report their suspicions to police.

“We still need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground and if you see anything that causes you concern, or doesn’t seem quite right, then please contact us.

“It may be there is a strong smell of drugs, strangers are loitering in the street or a particular property that may be being regularly visited by a number of different people. Reporting could help save a life in more ways than you might imagine.”

Insp Patterson added: “Cannabis farmers do not make for good neighbours. In many cases, such as here, the electricity has been by-passed which could have catastrophic consequences not only for those in that property, but families living nearby.

“Just before New Year’s Eve a farm went up in flames elsewhere in our Force area. Neighbours were forced out of their homes – and it was sheer luck that lives were not lost.

“Nobody wants to live next to a potential death trap, and farms like this are an accident waiting to happen.”