Police are looking to work with landlords to prevent cannabis farms being grown in rented properties as part of a crackdown on crime.
Officers speaking at the Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting said recent work done to uncover two cannabis farms at properties in the area is an example of the success of the Hartlepool Community Safety Team.
On Tuesday officers uncovered a cannabis farm containing around 160 mature plants, worth £85,000 at a house in Tankerville Street, Hartlepool.
The previous week police, acting on a tip-off, raided an end terraced house in St Paul’s Road close to Hartlepool town centre and found a farm of over 250 plants with an estimated value of £75,000.
Chief Inspector Nigel Burnell, chair of youth offending board, said at the meeting it is an example of some of the work being done by the team, and they are keen to make the public aware of it.
He also said officers would now be looking to work with landlords of rented properties to help prevent the issue and enable them to spot the signs of a potential cannabis farm.
He said: “We’ve been using Facebook to show some of the police activity we’ve been doing.
“We’ve had numerous cannabis raids and taken action to get people arrested on the back of that.
“It’s about addressing the wider issue and problem solving, and how to help support landlords and keep them safe from this.
“Perhaps we offer to get landlords in and speak to them to raise awareness about this and what to do to prevent it.
“It’s about how we stop the problem and targeting these people for more information.”
The Tankerville Road discovery was just 450 yards away from the farm found the previous week, although the police did not believe the farms to be linked.
It was also the third cannabis farm to be found in Tankerville Street in a little over a year.
Last year, two Vietnamese illegal immigrants were jailed for eight month each after 458 plants worth around £250,000 were found in neighbouring properties in the street.
The plans to help address issues with cannabis farms in the area were part of work being carried out by Hartlepool Community Safety Team.
The collaboration between police, council officers and the fire service officially launched earlier this year and looks to increase community confidence and cohesion while cutting down on crime.
Chief inspector Burnell said the work with cannabis farms, shared by the police on social media, is an example of the team’s success so far.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service