A month-long crackdown on cannabis has been launched in Barnsley
Operation Barracuda has been set up to identify people growing cannabis and to take the drug out of circulation in the town.
South Yorkshire Police have discovered 28 cannabis cultivation set-ups in the town since the start of the year and hope the month-long blitz will yield more results.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Wilkie said: “During the month of May we will be targeting individuals who think it is acceptable to grow cannabis, whether this is a few plants for personal use, or 600 plants in a warehouse.
“The cultivation of cannabis brings unwanted criminality into the area, not only by people breaking into houses that they believe cannabis is being grown to steal the plants or cash, but also with people coming and going from the properties to buy the cannabis.
“There is also an increased risk of fire in properties growing cannabis, as they usually tamper with electricity and use high intensity lights. This is not only dangerous to them, but to people living in the surrounding areas.”
Police officers involved in the crackdown are asking members of the public to on the look out for signs of people growing cannabis, including a strong strange smell or an increase in the number of people visiting a property.
DCI Wilkie added: “The operation is based on information we have received and we will be visiting the people that we believe are growing cannabis. However, we still need the public’s help to catch more people who are committing this crime.”
“I would urge anybody with information, or even if they are just suspicious about a property in their area, to come forward and report it to us. We will always act on information we receive.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said: “I am determined that the force take tough action on drug criminality. Cannabis cultivation has a serious impact on people’s quality of life and the local community.
“It is only by us working together that we can stop the criminals profiteering out of other peoples misery.”
n Call South Yorkshire Police on 101.