The cannabis growing season is now underway and Central District Police are appealing for the public’s help in maintaining drug-free communities.
Central District's spokesperson for the annual operation against the illegal cultivation of cannabis, Senior Constable Dave Kirk says: "At this time of year Police particularly need residents and visitors to rural areas of the District to be extra vigilant. Plants being grown outdoors will be generally in the region of waist to head high by now and noticeable."
“Information and support from the public is invaluable in apprehending those who choose to profit from the misery of others by manufacturing and selling drugs.”
Police encourage the public to keep their eyes peeled and report suspicious behaviour.
Trampers, hunters, and those who work in rural areas and in aviation can be of great help at this time of year by keeping an eye out in their surroundings.
“The majority of New Zealanders don’t want drugs in their communities. We want to send a strong message to people who choose to taint lives by manufacturing and selling drugs; you can expect to get caught.
“Don’t discount what you may have seen. Let us know and we will take appropriate action. You can provide information by giving your local station a call or report it anonymously through Crimestoppers,” said Senior Constable Kirk.
Police are asking the public to report any suspicious activity including:
• People seen repeatedly going to certain locations
• People seen at odd times
• People somewhere they are not supposed to be
• Shovels, spades and other such equipment being carried into the bush
• Vehicles in rural areas closed to the public or with difficult access
• Unusual lights in rural areas at night
• Distinctive smell coming from rural areas or properties
• Items going missing from rural properties that might be used in accessing plots and cultivation such as farm bikes and fencing equipment
Even when cannabis is being grown inside buildings there are tell-tale signs for the public and landlords to look out for.
• Residents increasing fence heights
• Curtains closed day and night
• Shed and garage windows being blocked out
• Bright lights on constantly or at strange times
• Sounds of fans continually running
• Vehicles and people visiting hours at all hours of the days
If you have information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.