Cannabis farm uncovered just yards from police station
Friday 20 January 2012
A cannabis farm has been discovered just yards away from a city centre police station.
More than 300 plants worth around £100,000 were uncovered in a disused multi-storey warehouse following a blaze in the building, which is 40 yards away from, and opposite, Manchester's Bootle Street station.
It is thought the fire may have been started by an electrical short circuit which affected lighting used to grow the plants.
The remains of the farm were discovered on the third floor of the building in Peter Street once the fire had been put out on Wednesday.
Chief Inspector Sarah Jones, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "The farm was on an upper floor of a multi-storey building.
"There was no noticeable smell emitted that any officer walking past would have detected.
"In addition, the size of the building means that even if we had employed any of the tactics we use to try and identify farms these would in all likelihood not have been effective.
"It is important to stress that we have had noticeable successes across Greater Manchester in relation to the recovery of cannabis, preventing large amounts hitting the streets and disrupting criminal gangs as a result."
She added that an investigation has been launched to identify those responsible for growing the drugs and the reason for the blaze.
"Cannabis farms represent a significant fire hazard due to the various electrical items required and amount of electricity used," she said.
"In the last 12 months alone Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has extinguished 10 blazes at premises where there has been a cannabis farm.
"The message for anyone involved or thinking of getting involved is that it is simply not worth the risk."
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