SOUTH Wales Police is encouraging people to be on the lookout for, and to report, suspicious activity in neighbouring properties that may indicate a cannabis factory in the area.
As well as using commercial and industrial sites, cannabis growers are also using ordinary residential homes to transform into their cannabis factories.
Officers from the Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan area are urging the public to look out for signs of cannabis production in a bid to tackle crime, as these factories can invite other crime such as burglary into the neighbourhood.
So what are the tell-tale signs that your neighbours could be running a cannabis operation?
Detective Inspector Lloyd Williams from South Wales Police said: “Watch out for strong smells, regular buzzing noises as this could indicate the presence of fans or heaters, windows that are warm to the touch and people coming and going at all hours.
"Also suspicious landlords should monitor electricity usage as drug cultivation requires high levels of power”.
As well as being illegal, growing cannabis is dangerous to those living in neighbouring properties.
Station Manager Carl Evans from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said “it can be a major fire hazard due to the amount of heat generated by the number of lights and electric fans used, and in cases where the electricity supply has been tampered with. A good sign of identifying where electricity supplies are being tampered with is where you see the electrical boxes on the outside of houses vandalised or left open”.
If you suspect that a property is being used to grow cannabis, contact South Wales Police by dialling 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.