Northland Police are urging the public to be on the look out for suspicious activity that could be linked to drug growing operations.
The cannabis growing season has begun in the region and police are asking people to take note of any unusual comings and goings in their area, particularly in rural districts.
Suspicious activity to be aware of can include: strange vehicles driving up and down the road or parked on the roadside; unusual lights in the bush at night; items such as fencing equipment and possum traps going missing; curtains being closed frequently; unusual odours coming from houses and lots of people visiting during the day and night.
Last year the number of cannabis plants recovered from the annual police crime and cannabis operation was down on previous years.
Police believe that this was due, in part, to the drought and that there may be an increase in activity this year as growers put in more plants to make up for their losses.
Operation Penny, carried out during the 2009/2010 season resulted in: 48,769 cannabis plants being destroyed; 175 arrests; 46 firearms recovered; two methamphetamine labs discovered; 28 grams of methamphetamine found; more than 2kg of cannabis discovered; nearly $30,000 of stolen property recovered and $25,400 cash seized.
Northland Organised Crime Unit Detective Pepe Reihana says if people notice unusual activity, it is helpful if they can get details of suspicious vehicles involved including registration numbers, colour and make/model.
Mr Reihana says police are also concerned about the number of firearms that have been located at properties used by drug dealers, growers and manufacturers.
"This combination of illicit drugs and firearms can be lethal and the growing, manufacturing and dealing in drugs is also linked to gangs. In terms of public safety, we want people to contact us as soon as they see any suspicious activity."
If people have any information relating to illicit drugs they can contact their local police station or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
For further information contact Northland Police Communications Officer Sarah Kennett on 09 430 4525 or 027 494 1214.