St Albans woman 'shocked' at police raid on cannabis farm in quiet street
PUBLISHED: 21:00 17 March 2016
A woman watched in disbelief last week as police raided a suburban cannabis farm in a street near Verulamium Park.
About 100 cannabis plants, with an estimated street value of £50,000, were seized during the operation.
Herts Police arrested a 54-year-old Enfield man on suspicion of cultivating drugs after carrying out the raid at Antonine Gate last Thursday (10) morning. He remains in police custody.
The cannabis factory was shut down by officers after eagle-eyed neighbours reported that something suspicious was going on at the detached home, which is also close to Waitrose supermarket.
Officers uncovered the drugs den during the operation, prompted after residents alerted a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator to unusual activity.
A woman, who saw the raid unfold but did not want to be named, told the Herts Advertiser: “We were in the kitchen and saw the police officers arrive in three cars. They were trying to break into the house. The occupant tried to escape.
“The man was in his own garden, jumped into a neighbouring garden and tried to escape from there, but police blocked his way.
“We were really surprised, because most of the residents here are elderly, so it was a complete surprise.”
The woman added: “It was really shocking – and really unexpected for a Thursday morning! This is normally a chilled area. The police told me it was a cannabis farm. We have been having problems with electricity lately in the area.”
When officers from Operation Scorpion and the Operational Support Group forced entry into the property at 10am, they discovered that three bedrooms had been converted for the growing of cannabis plants.
Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant Scott Curran said: “This factory was uncovered due to information received by police about suspected drug related activity in the area and this highlights the importance of residents being our eyes and ears in the community.”
He added: “I would urge anyone who has suspicions about drug use in their community to contact us via non-emergency number 101, with details about where it is happening and who is involved, or any other details that could help us to tackle drug crime, so that we can take appropriate action.
“Any information, no matter how small it may seem, could make a big difference.”
You can also report crime anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org