BALLARAT,AU police say they are finding less cannabis crops being grown outdoors and more being grown in rental homes with hydroponic equipment. Regional Response Unit Senior Sergeant Darren Tanis said rental “grow houses” were now the main concern for police regarding cannabis, despite warmer weather providing suitable growing conditions for outdoor crops. Senior Sergeant Tanis said modern police advances had removed the opportunity for large crops to be grown secretly in bushland.
“They’ve moved away from that now because of the air wing patrols,” he said. “They’re too easy to spot from the air.” Senior Sergeant Tanis said police held far more concern for the product being produced inside Ballarat’s homes — often without the landlord’s knowledge. “It might take six months to grow a plant outside and it might be fairly poor,” he said.
“The same plant inside can be ready in six weeks to three months and be double in size with twice the potency.” “They pump chemicals in, they clone them, they combine them with other plants — there’s so much more they can do in a hydro set-up.” Police say information provided by the public is still one of their best weapons in the war on drugs. “We encourage people, particularly estate agents and private owners, to keep an eye on their rental properties,” he said.
“Often an agent will rent it out to an individual, they will pay the bills and just put a sitter in the home. “When they come to do an inspection, the house will be half wrecked after it’s produced two or three crops.” Police say blacked-out windows, suspicious comings and goings and irregular lighting of the home at night should raise alarm bells for neighbours. “Also excessive ventilation and watering systems in and around sheds or garages can be a giveaway,” Senior Sergeant Tanis said. Anyone with information on suspected grow houses in the Ballarat area can provide information, anonymously, to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
via : The Courier
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