1:06pm Friday 14th March 2014
By James Connell
POLICE officers found cannabis and cultivation equipment during a drugs search involving a sniffer dog at a Worcester home today.
Around 10 officers and a sniffer dog carried out a thorough search of a semi-detached house in Astwood, Worcester, including the suspect's car and the garden shed. The warrant, overseen by chief inspector Paul Kinsella, was conducted after complaints were received by neighbours about suspicious activity at the address.
Officers conducted a thorough search and found a small amount of cannabis, evidence of previous cannabis cultivation including equipment (tubing and a blanket) and a bong next to a child's car seat. The suspect, aged in his 20s, was not arrested but there is the possibility of further action in future, police said.
CI Kinsella said: "Most of what we do is led by concern from residents who don't want to see cannabis in their streets. We don't like to batter doors down if we can help it and there was a possibility of children at the premises." He also said there was less possibility of flushing cannabis plants down the toilet when compared to other drugs like cocaine which meant they did not always to use force to gain entry.
Officers were accompanied by Nick Wentworth-Stanley, the High Sheriff of Worcestershire who attended as an observer. He said: "It was extremely professional with a tremendous amount of care taken to ensure that it all goes according to plan."
Sgt Carl Jones, from the city centre and Cathedral safer neighbourhood team, said they had found small amounts of cannabis in two places inside the house and evidence of previous cultivation.
He said of recent police work on drugs, which has included recent warrants in Warndon and Dines Green: "We are trying to break that link between shoplifting and the purchase of heroin and cocaine. People are now really blasé about possession and use of cannabis. It may only be a bit of cannabis but if you smoke it long enough it can cause psychological illnesses. The health risks are huge." Officers also found tubing in the garden shed which can be used for ventilation during cannabis cultivation and a blanket to warm the plants. He said: "I can't prove it has been used to grow cannabis but I suspect it has. We won't arrest him today but we could still potentially arrest him at a later date." He said there was sometimes a misconception that people had to be arrested when there were other ways to deal with offences, including interviewing a suspect voluntarily under caution.
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