Landlords in Barnsley are stepping up the fight against cannabis farms. An increasing number of let properties are being used for growing cannabis, leaving landlords with a substantial financial loss. To deal with this problem, landlords in Barnsley are signing up to the ‘Cannabis Aware Scheme’.
The Cannabis Aware Scheme has been created by officers in Barnsley to ensure that landlords are actively preventing people from renting their properties for cannabis farms.
Identity would be Cannabis farmers
Mr Paul Davies, a police officer, has set up the scheme in partnership with Barnsley Council. Mr Davis said: “The scheme is designed to prompt landlords into asking questions that may raise concerns and help identify those who are only looking for a property to grow cannabis.”
“As well as questions, the scheme asks landlords to commit to checking their properties every eight to ten weeks. A regular check-in ensures that there is not enough time to grow a crop without it being noticed”. He said.
The scheme was launched in Barnsley on the 21st of June. It is anticipated most if not all landlords will sign up to the scheme. Landlords will promote that they are part of the project, in turn, deterring criminal gangs from using their properties for ill gain.
Landlords and agents will be given stickers to promote in the windows of their properties which will act as a deterrent.
The public is being urged to continue to report concerns by calling the police using 101 to help officers act.
PC Davies added: “We know everyone has a different opinion on cannabis and its uses. However, it is a Class B drug, and those involved in growing and selling marijuana are often either being exploited or have links to serious organised crime, that has a devastating impact on our communities.”
“As part of the scheme we are asking communities to ensure they are vigilant with the properties on their streets, and if you are concerned about a property being used for drug purposes, you call 101.”
“It may feel that we do not act upon your call or intelligence straight away, but sometimes time is needed to gather further intelligence or gain a warrant for access.”
A safer place for people to live
Barnsley Council is supporting this initiative, Councillor Jenny Platts, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “We’re pleased to join forces with South Yorkshire Police and support this scheme as we continue to work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough to make it a safe place for people to live, work and visit.”
“We want landlords to be vigilant in checking their properties to make sure they are not being used for the growth or cultivation of cannabis as some individuals target properties to use them solely for the production of cannabis.”
“PC Paul Davies will continue to work with our multi-agency shared accommodation team, focusing specifically on private rented sector housing across the borough as we look to tackle this issue.”
“I echo Paul’s comments and urge anyone with concerns about a property being used for drug purposes to call 101.” He said.
A recent case of cannabis farm has recently been reported in Barnsley. A male was charged after police raided a property in Barnsley town centre and found a large cannabis farm.
The defendant Mr Manjol Kicka has been charged with cannabis production after police found 241 cannabis plants with a street value in excess of £100k.
South Yorkshire Police seized the drugs as part of the operation and Mr Kicka, 29, was arrested green handed.
A statement from South Yorkshire Police said: “A man has been charged after cannabis cultivation was discovered in the Town Centre area of Barnsley.
“Officers from our Operation Fortify team attended the address in Corporation Street at around 1.15 pm on Monday 15 June to execute a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act.”
British Landlords Association
Author: Sharon Sidwell [email protected]
Date: 23rd of July 2020