Dangerous amateur electrical work and a sawn-off shotgun were among police finds during a successful crackdown on cannabis and P in the Wellington region.
Police raiding three Masterton properties found blackened, scorched meter boxes in houses poorly re-wired to get free electricity to grow cannabis, Wairarapa Detective Sergeant Barry Bysouth said.
Bysouth, who co-ordinated Wellington policing district's Operation Lucy, said electricians working with police were shocked by the risky rewiring, carried out to run the expensive heating and lighting required for indoor growing. One commented: ''This house should be on fire''.
''It's extremely dangerous, and for neighbouring homes as well.''
Weapons seized during the operation included a loaded, sawn-off shotgun found under a sofa at an indoor cultivation site in Masterton.
Indoor operations appeared to be on the increase in Wairarapa, Bysouth said.
The operation, which began last November and ran until yesterday, saw the seizure of 1272 cannabis plants as well as P, dry cannabis head prepared for sale, cannabis oil and other non-prescription drugs.
The operation focused on Wairarapa because of its greater scope for outdoor cannabis growing, Bysouth said.
Twenty-seven Wairarapa addresses were searched, alongside another six on the Kapiti coast and several in the Hutt Valley.
The searches resulted in more than 20 arrests. Two Wairarapa men are now in custody for allegedly dealing P.
Bysouth said information from the public had contributed to the operation's success. He urged people to call police if they noticed anything suspicious in their neighbourhood, such as drawn blinds, fans or lighting in sheds during the night and odd smells.
- Fairfax Media