Northern Neighbourhood Enforcement Team launches and disrupts large cannabis factory in Basingstoke
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The newly formed Northern Neighbourhood Enforcement Team (NET) has hit the ground running this month with a busy few days of targeted community operations.
The Northern NET encompasses two teams, with one based out of Basingstoke covering Basingstoke and Hart & Rushmoor, and the other working from Winchester covering the Winchester and Test Valley districts. Each NET is made up of one Police Sergeant and five Police Officers.
On Monday 18 September, members from the Basingstoke NET, Winchester NET and the Basingstoke Neighbourhoods Policing Team successfully located and disrupted a cannabis factory in Basingstoke.
Just after 9am, officers executed a warrant at an address on Coleman Close and found around 100 cannabis plants in various stages of grow.
Officers remain in the area today conducting enquiries and speaking to those that live locally.
As part of the investigation, the team arrested a man at the scene. A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of producing a controlled drug of Class B.
He remains in custody and our enquiries are ongoing.
And on Friday 8 September, officers from the Basingstoke NET disrupted another cannabis factory on The Mews, Bramley.
A 46-year-old man, from Bramley, was arrested on suspicion of producing a controlled drug of Class B and a possession of a controlled drug of Class B. He was given a conditional caution.
We know that many people think it is just a bit of cannabis, but we want to stress that any production of drugs is linked to hidden harm. Large-scale operations are often run by organised crime gangs, who are likely to engage in very serious violence involving weapons, such as firearms.
Meanwhile, the team based out of Winchester worked closely with colleagues in the Priority Crime Team in Andover to successfully disrupt drugs activity with a positive stop search on Lawrence Road on Wednesday (6 September).
As a result, a 29-year-old man of no fixed abode and a 21-year-old man from Kingston-Upon-Thames, were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class A drug, and using criminal property. They have been released from custody but remain under investigation.
On Thursday (7 September) they were called to an address on Weyhill Road after a concern for welfare call in relation to an ongoing drugs investigation, a 17-year-old boy from London was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of an offensive weapon. He has been released on bail as enquiries continue.
The Winchester team also arrested a 41-year-old man from Winchester on Thursday in connection with a burglary from Marks & Spencer, Winchester High Street, on 2 September. He has been released on police bail.
On Tuesday (12 September), officers located and seized a stolen vehicle in Yateley (pictured). Officers found weapons inside the car and a suspect has been identified.
Other members of NET were targeting local hotspots in Winchester known for drug dealing and anti-social behaviour, completing three stop searches and carrying out other reassurance activities in the area.
The teams have also been involved in targeted patrols in Fleet following reports of theft from motor vehicles, disrupting car meets in Basingstoke and supporting with stop/search operations across the districts.
Detective Inspector Alex Hall, of the Northern Enforcement Team, said: “The aim of the team is to be a high visibility proactive unit set up for highly targeted proactive policing, maximum crime disruption, and providing maximum impact and community reassurance.
“All of this work underpins our commitment to make Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer for everyone.
“This has been a busy first couple of weeks and there is more to come as we keep up the momentum to tackle problems in your area.”