Shropshire Star

Watch: Man arrested after cops smash down doors at Telford cannabis grow

A police raid in Telford has uncovered the 19th cannabis grow in less than six months for one Telford crime fighting team.


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While much of the county was still tucked up in bed on Thursday morning, a handful of West Mercia officers were preparing a raid on a suspected cannabis grow in Telford.

The team gathered for a 5.30am briefing at Malinsgate Police Station, where they were told that intelligence suggested the home on Holyhead Road in Ketley was being used to grow cannabis.

Just 40 minutes later, around a dozen officers piled out of vehicles and surrounded the property. A few sharp shots with the battering ram and the home's two doors were down.

As one swung open, an immediate yell of "grow confirmed" came from one officer, as the now open door revealed a room packed full of cannabis plants.

The home on Holyhead Road, Ketley
Behind one door was a room full of cannabis plants

Officers charged inside the property and after a few minutes of shouting and searching, the team emerged back outside with a man in cuffs. The 34-year-old had been discovered hiding in the attic.

After being searched, the man - who had been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis - was led to an awaiting police car and taken off to custody.

One room full of plants
Another large room packed with plants
One man was arrested at the property on suspicion of cultivating cannabis

Around 100 plants were discovered in the property, which police estimate to be worth around £100,000. The search of a vehicle discovered close by also uncovered around £7,000 of cash.

Intelligence gathered at the Ketley house pointed the team towards another property in Newport, and after a short wait for a warrant, the team were back in the van.

Within an hour and a half of leaving the station after the briefing, the team were pulling up to a home on Gravelly Drive - their second property of the morning. Having acquired keys for this one, the door was spared a dramatic meeting with the battering ram.

Officers outside the home in Newport
A car was searched following the raid

With the exception of a cat, the home was quiet, but a search of the property and a vehicle outside saw several items seized.

The officers, led by Sergeant Matt Corfield, make up Telford's Neighbourhood Crime Fighting Team, which was formed in October last year.

Sergeant Corfield called the morning "another happy day in the office".

"When I go to speak to the neighbours and they say good job - that's what it's all about," he added.

Since their formation, they've achieved massive successes for the force. In the almost nine months of operation, Sergeant Corfield believes they have taken around £3m of drugs off the streets.

"And it's not just the plants," he added. "We seize and destroy all of the equipment found at the properties, which can cost between ten and thirty thousand pounds to set up."

The team have also made 240 arrests, which works out as an average of two arrests each time the team is on duty.

Of those arrests, the team have laid over 300 charges. The cannabis grow found on Thursday was the 19th that the team have uncovered since December last year.

Sergeant Corfield added: "We want to make it clear to people that once we receive this information, we don't mess around. We turn it around really quickly.

"A lot of people don't think of cannabis as being as serious as other drugs, but it's all part of the funding of serious organised crime. We take this very seriously."

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