Police field hundreds of leads on cannabis plots
Police have received hundreds of tip-offs about cannabis growing in Marlborough and Nelson.
A police spokeswoman said the growing season was well under way, and the annual drive to root out cannabis growers and destroy their crops was in the information-gathering stage.
"Hundreds" of people had called police with information about cannabis, she said.
Marlborough cannabis operation co-ordinator Senior Constable Beau Webster, of Blenheim, said as of December 31, police had recovered 250 cannabis plants and 5 kilograms of dried material.
Some of the plants had been recovered through warrants and some had just been found "out in the wop-wops", he said.
The cannabis operation runs for about five months, but police were always on the lookout for crops.
"May is the end of the cannabis-growing season, but in this climate, you could grow it all year round," Mr Webster said.
He encouraged people to use the Crimestoppers line to report suspicious activity.
Tasman cannabis operation co-ordinator Sergeant Rob Crawford, of Nelson, said rural people were at risk if cannabis was grown in their area.
"We generally see an increase in dishonesty . . . which is associated with people growing drugs in an area," he said.
"Electric fence units and tools from farm sheds are particularly vulnerable to theft and poaching of stock is a common problem."
People going into the bush with gardening tools and water bottles was a bit of a giveaway.
Anyone who lived in a rural area or who went tramping or camping could easily come across plots or growers tending their crops.
Anyone with information is asked to call Blenheim police on 03 578 5279 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Marlborough Express