Man charged and remanded after police discover cannabis factory in South Oxhey
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A man has been charged and remanded in custody after police found more than 160 cannabis plants growing in a property in South Oxhey.
Endrit Pepkolaj, aged 28, of no fixed address, has been charged with cultivation of cannabis following the discovery at a property in Gosforth Lane on Thursday (1 February). He has been remanded in custody and is awaiting his next court date.
Pepkolaj’s arrest and charge comes after officers from the Operation Scorpion team attended the address, following reports from the community about suspicious activity and a strong smell emanating from the property.
Following a search of the address, a total of 168 plants were recovered. These plants, which have an estimated street value of at least £47,000, will be destroyed.
Detective Sergeant Stuart Keene, from the Three Rivers Local Crime Unit, said: “This great result shows just how important intelligence from the local community is in helping us disrupt drug crime in Three Rivers. Those living nearby had noticed unusual activities and strong smells linked to the address and reported those to us.
“Spotting potential factories can be difficult for police as there is often little to indicate a property is being used in this way at first glance. However, information provided by residents enables us to take action and investigate potential addresses of interest.
“Gosforth Lane is a safer place now this factory has been dismantled, as criminals often seek to access free electricity and set up unsafe wiring to power the lamps and fans needed to grow the plants, which can cause a significant fire risk.”
Spot the signs of cannabis cultivation:
A powerful distinctive sweet, sickly aroma
Frequent visitors throughout the day and night
Blacked out windows, or vents sealed/blocked to prevent the heat and smell of cannabis from inside the property escaping
Chinks of bright light throughout the night
Birds gathering on the roof, particularly in cold weather
In winter, snow melting unusually quickly on the roof
High levels of condensation on windows
Noise from fans
Large amounts of rubbish, including compost bags
Electricity meter being tampered with/altered and new cabling, sometimes leading to street lighting.
If you believe there may be drug crime being committed in your neighbourhood, you can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.
Do you have a doorbell cam or CCTV? If so, we would love you to join CCTV Watch so we can contact you if a crime takes place in your street. Sign up to owl.co.uk/herts and select ‘CCTV Watch.’
You can use our community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives and campaigns. Visit bit.ly/priorities-threerivers and tell us your thoughts.