Cannabis farm blaze rips through St Pauls Cray sheds

PUBLISHED: 09:41 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:41 10 July 2013

A fire started by lighting equipment at a cannabis farm destroyed a number of sheds in St Pauls Cray yesterday.

The blaze also damaged fences in Barnfield Road, before firefighters from Orpington and Sidcup arrived to extinguish the flames.

A 44-year-old woman was arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis.

Bromley Police are now urging residents to report signs of cannabis farms, which often use large amounts of heating and lighting equipment to force plants to grow.

Ch Insp Andy Furphy said: “Cannabis cultivation is directly linked to and is a key driver for organised and violent crime, robbery, burglary and anti-social behaviour.

“There are also serious potential public safety risks in cannabis cultivation, as most factories illegally abstract large amount of electricity, sometimes in the crudest and potentially most dangerous ways.”

A list of signs to spot cannabis farming has be re-released with the aim of preventing any future fires or risk to community safety. Officers are urging residents to look out for the following:

• Strong and sickly sweet smell

• Large amounts of growing equipment

• Constant covered or blocked off windows

• Visitors at unsociable hours

• Strong and constant lighting day and night

• High levels of heat and condensation

• Constant buzz of ventilation

• Lots of cables

Anyone with information about potential drug dealing should contact their local Safer Neighbourhood Team or dial 101.

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