Newham hospital staff and patients see ‘cannabis farm’ up close

Officers set up a mock cannabis farm to show people what it looks like

Officers set up a mock cannabis farm to show people what it looks like - Credit: Archant

Visitors to Newham General Hospital found themselves face to face with a mock cannabis farm yesterday as part of a police campaign.

Officers from Plaistow South and Boleyn Safer Neighbourhoods Teams and Newham Safer Transport Police Team worked in partnership with British Transport Police to hold a multi agency initiative focused on cannabis factories within the community and crime prevention.

They set up the police’s mobile mock cannabis farm in the main car park at the hospital and people were invited to go into the vehicle to see what the inside of a cannabis factory looks like. They were also given scratch and sniff cards to help them to identify the very pungent smell given off by the plants.

The vehicle is fully equipped with lighting, ventilation and electric circuits removed from an actual cannabis farm. Photographs of real cannabis farm crime scenes were available showing how complex the wiring and hydroponic systems can be and the extreme lengths that people have gone to to ensure that the property can’t be identified as a drug farm from the street.

Even hospital staff took a look around the cannabis factory during their breaks. A similar event is planned for the future at Plaistow Park.

Chief Inspector David Moorhead said: “Cannabis factories within the community represent a danger to the public due to the electrical tampering and creative wiring that is necessary to sustain the environment that the plants need in order to mature.

“This initiative demonstrates the visual signs and smells to look out for if you suspect a property is being used as a cannabis farm in your area.”

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If you think that a property near you may be housing a cannabis factory, don’t approach the property. Contact your Safer Neighbourhoods Team, call Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously.