Tyrone fertile ground for cannabis farms

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A total of seven defendants are currently awaiting trial in the local court on charges connected with the cultivation of drugs on so-called cannabis farms.

The apparent proliferation of cannabis farms in County Tyrone and across Northern Ireland was revealed at the Northern Ireland Assembly last week.

The Department of Justice figures show that there are currently 88 suspects awaiting trial in Northern Ireland for cannabis cultivation, with the highest number, 24, from Belfast.

Some of the operations can produce up to £250,000 worth of the class B drug every year,

Last month, cannabis plants, with an estimated street value of approximately £174,000 were seized, along with a growing equipment, during a planned search in Pomeroy,

Chief Inspector Jane Humphries, Area Commander said: “Drugs are clearly an issue of concern to the local community and officers have been working hard in this area to tackle the issue of drug supply and distribution.

“This planned search and the discovery of a cannabis factory illustrates our commitment to deal with drugs in this area.

“I would appeal to anyone who has any information in relation to illegal drugs, to contact local police on the new non-emergency number 101 or, alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The PSNI have reminded private landlords to make thorough checks of their property on a regular basis. In the past, investigations have shown that many of the properties used as factories for cannabis cultivation are in the private rental sector across Northern Ireland.