Neighbours weed out Earley drug denBy Natalie Slater
May 26, 2010
Clued-up residents have led police to another cannabis factory only weeks after being set up in the borough last Friday.
The three-bedroom semi-detached property in Hilltop Road was searched by police after neighbours spotted the signs of a cannabis factory in operation.
They reported a man of Oriental appearance living in the property who did not hang out any washing or mow the lawn and a number of vans seen arriving in the middle of the night.
Following the tip-off, officers noticed the back windows of the property in the family area were taped up and a strong smell coming from the house.
PC Simon Pink said that the landlady, who had leased it privately to a tenant, carried out a monthly search only three weeks ago and said there was no evidence of the property being used illegally.
He said: “We appear to have caught this one after only a matter of weeks which is a good reflection on how effective community intelligence has become.
“A few months ago, neighbours would probably not have known what kind of things to look out for but now, after a lot of publicity in the local media, we are getting a lot of help from neighbours who suspect cannabis factories.”
Around 150 plants and more than 300 root balls were found in the back room downstairs and two of the rooms upstairs.
PC Kyle Bateman, also of Wokingham policing area, said: “This is very typical of the kind of house that is being used for cannabis factories these days and with prompt action from neighbours this is one of the quickest discoveries we have made.
“Although the plants are probably only around three weeks old, the artificial lighting used in these factories means that the plants were already mature and quite large.
“The landlady of this property has actually been quite lucky as there appears to be minimal damage here. All the wiring has been done externally so there are no holes in the walls.”
But he added: “We ask that people remain vigilant and if they have any suspicions to contact the police.”
The Wokingham Times was praised last month when a cannabis factory was uncovered in Woosehill following a tip-off from a person who read how to spot the signs of drug dens in an earlier edition.
- Jian Lin, 29, appeared in Reading Magistrates’ Court on Saturday charged with cultivation of cannabis and was remanded in custody until May 28.