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Landlords asked to help tackle drugs

PUBLISHED: 15:28 09 June 2009 | UPDATED: 08:15 01 August 2010

FOR National Tackling Drugs Week, Suffolk police officers are urging landlords to continue to play their part in detecting cannabis factories.

In 2008 police discovered 21 cannabis factories across Suffolk, and criminal gangs now often arrange to have homes in residential areas converted to produce drugs.

FOR National Tackling Drugs Week, Suffolk police officers are urging landlords to continue to play their part in detecting cannabis factories.

In 2008 police discovered 21 cannabis factories across Suffolk, and criminal gangs now often arrange to have homes in residential areas converted to produce drugs.

A guide for landlords, Keeping Illegal Drugs out of Rental Properties, is available from Suffolk Police, which gives useful information and advice to property owners.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Mattin said: “Gangs involved in drug production seek to distance themselves from any illegal activity and a convenient way of doing this is to use rental properties. “Taking over a property and then converting it into a factory can be profitable for them but it is detrimental both to landlords and the community.

“When criminals operate out of rental properties it can lead to damage, loss of rent, possible toxic contamination, risk of fire or flood and reduction in property values as well as having an adverse effect on those living near the address.

“The guide outlines how property managers, landlords and owners can work with police to tackle this issue, preventing problems both for themselves and local residents. It encourages landlords to look out for tell-tale signs, such as strong odours, modifications to the home, blacked out windows, strong lighting or ducting tubes as well as other possible indicators such as a willingness to pay cash in advance for rent and an unwillingness to grant access to the property.

“It also advises steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a property you own being used in such a way.”

Copies of the guide are available either via the Constabulary website www.suffolk.police.uk or by contacting Robin Pivett on 01473 613500.

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