Tue, 06 Dec 2016
A “SUBSTANTIAL amount” of cannabis with an estimated street value of more than £50,000 was seized during a morning raid in a quiet Newbury street.
Acting on information provided by residents, police raided a property in the ironically-named Harvest Green last Tuesday morning, arresting a Vietnamese man at the scene.
The quiet cul-de-sac was a hub of police activity throughout the day as officers secured the property and gathered evidence.
A total of 455 plants were recovered from the house, which had also been equipped with an expensive extraction system to remove the smell of the drugs.
Nevertheless, there was a strong smell emanating from the rented property just a stones-throw away from St Bartholomew’s School.
The smallest room alone contained 79 plants of the Class B drug.
Speaking at the scene, Pc Jamie Hanks told the Newbury Weekly News that information provided by residents had been crucial in bringing about the bust.
He said: “Thanks to residents in the community who have informed us.
“It’s a great result for the local community to identify the property.”
He added that it had taken a month since residents’ concerns had been raised with Newbury’s neighbourhood police team at a ‘have your say’ meeting.
Pc Darryl MacAndrew said: “From that information being investigated, it’s led us to this stage; getting a warrant on the property and uncovering what’s a substantial amount of cannabis.”
Officers said that 1kg of cannabis would sell for about £1,500 on the street and that the value of the Harvest Green haul was between £50,000 and £80,000.
“It’s the biggest amount I’ve seen in a long time and I’ve been in the job 12 years,” Pc MacAndrew said.
Pc Hanks said that police had secured the property and handed it back to the landlord “who unfortunately will have to pay for damage.”
Commenting on the bust, one resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s a really friendly neighbourhood.
“You see everybody and talk to everybody, but we never saw them, never. It’s a lovely community down here, it’s just really, really sad.”
Another resident said that suspicions were first raised after the occupant refused firefighters entry after an alarm was triggered at the property.
He said that police had then kept an eye on the house and the next thing they knew it “was knock knock with a vengeance”.
“You’ve got to hand it to the alleged culprit, we didn’t see anything suspicious,” he said.
The arrested man was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.