Heat from huge cannabis factory seen by police helicopter before officers find hundreds of plants


A POLICE helicopter thermal camera image shows the heat from a massive cannabis factory hidden inside a warehouse from the sky.

After the images (top left) were taken, officers from the Met Police South East Basic Command Unit’s (BCU) Violence Suppression team found a large cannabis farm in a a 32,000 square feet commercial industrial unit in south east London, on the morning of Wednesday, December 30.

They obtained a warrant to gain entry and search the site in Eastmoor Street, Charlton after receiving intelligence about a cannabis factory being operated there.

Officers enlisted the assistance of the National Police Air Service helicopter to carry out reconnaissance of the site.

The majority of plants at the site were at full size and ready to be harvested (top right) before sale.

Five men were arrested at the scene on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis. They remain in custody.

Acting Inspector Matt Boniface, of the South East BCU Violence Suppression team, said: “This was a significant drug production site with hundreds of plants producing a controlled drug, intended for sale on London’s streets, to line the pockets of criminals.

“These sites are also a fire hazard, so it is important they are identified and shut down at the earliest opportunity.

“Drugs are often the root cause of the violence we see in the capital. Seizures like this play a huge part in our ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime and make communities safer.

“We would urge anyone who suspects that a cannabis factory is being run in their neighbourhood to call police right away.”

The following are tell-tale signs of a cannabis factory at a property:

1. The smell of cannabis. 2. Covered/boarded up windows and excessive security. 3. Lots of condensation. 4. Irregular electricity bills (if you’re a landlord of a property). 5. No snow or frost on the roof. 6. Bright lighting around the clock. 7. Ventilation/fan sounds.

A Met Police spokesman said: "We would like to hear from anyone who has information about crime. Community intelligence can be used to great effect to not only detect, but also prevent crime and keep London safe.

If you don’t want to speak to the police, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They are a totally independent charity and you will remain 100% anonymous - they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Alternatively, visit their website."