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Massive drugs bust carried out in quiet Newbury street

Police seize more than 450 Cannabis plants during raid

Massive drugs bust carried out in quiet Newbury street

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.

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Article comments

  • NewburyDenizen

    07/12/2016 - 12:12

    Legalise and tax, it's the only common sense option. The burden of proof is now upon the law makers to JUSTIFY the continued illegality of a medicinal plant that has been utilised by humans for thousands of years. Cannabis was made illegal in the United Kingdom on 28 September, 1928 as an addition to the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920. However doctors were able to prescribe cannabis for medical uses in the UK until 1971. I'd wager deals were done with the alcohol and tobacco industries to outlaw the far less dangerous marijuana to boost profits in the respective industries.


  • paulGT11

    06/12/2016 - 15:03

    When it is legal, you guys can do what you like, but in the meantime, if you grow it then you can expect a visit from the Police and will suffer the consequences. the law is the law.


    • Adama

      06/12/2016 - 19:07

      Quite correct. I was referring to the policy-making itself though, rather than enforcement. Enforcement is necessary so far as we have a backward approach to tackling drugs. However, issues such as this within the community wouldn't be present (or at least not as prevalent) if the government based its policy on science, instead of dogmatic ideology.


  • Adama

    06/12/2016 - 12:12

    Accept evidence-based drugs policy of legislation and & regulation: disincentivise the unchecked cultivation and supply of cannabis, prevent the needless criminalisation of vast numbers of people for consuming a plant out of personal choice, raise significant revenue for the treasury both in terms of taxation and the reduced cost burden upon the judiciary, and ensure the safety of cannabis use by monitoring cultivation methods and potency. Common sense seems to be prevailing in many other countries, but why not here?


    • Proton

      06/12/2016 - 15:03

      I'll be be blowed if know,


    • Adama

      06/12/2016 - 12:12

      *legalisation & regulation