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Police seize £40,000 of suspected cannabis in Highbridge raid
AROUND £40,000 worth of suspected cannabis has been seized by police as part of a massive crackdown on drug problems in Highbridge.
Police descended on gardens in Bristol Road on Friday (January 11) and recovered around 50 suspected cannabis plants at various stages of growth, along with growing equipment from several sheds.
Sgt Ian Kennett, from Burnham Police, told the Weekly News: “We had another successful drugs warrant, with over 40 plants being seized at one address in Bristol Road and another nearby where 13 plants were seized.”
Officers executed a search warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act following information from the community regarding suspected drug cultivation at the property.
A police spokesman said: “In addition to the plants, officers also seized a stolen mechanical digger found at the property. All the drugs seized are undergoing forensic testing and a 37-year-old man was arrested at the scene.
“Enquiries at the property led to another search at a neighbouring property where a further cultivation set up was found. More suspected cannabis plants were seized and two other premises were searched. A 29-year-old man was also later arrested.”
The raid took place the morning after a meeting in which the public identified drug problems as their top priority for police to tackle.
The meeting was attended by PC Adrian Jones, one of the beat managers for Highbridge, PCSO Sarah England and Sgt Kennett, with Faye Leatherby representing Sedgemoor District Council.
Sgt Kennett added: “We had a successful Have Your Say meeting, with a lot of positive feedback from the community.
“Drugs have been the top issue for local residents ever since these meetings began.
“We carried out over 40 warrants and section 18 searches in the Burnham and Highbridge area in relation to drugs last year and shut down six large scale cannabis factories.
“We will not tolerate drug dealing and associated crime and will continue to tackle it robustly.”
In the last quarter police:
* Closed a crack house at Worston Lane,
* Performed a cannabis cultivation seizure at Lympsham in October,
* Executed two positive cannabis cultivation warrants Burnham and Highbridge in November,
* Charged a man in December regarding a small cannabis factory on the Esplanade in September,
* Carried out over 35 street drugs seizures since September,
* Charged a man charged with possession with intent to supply cannabis valued at over £3500 (Burnham)
* Seized more than 600 cannabis plants from an unoccupied house in Burnham in December.
Sgt Kennett said the activity had contributed to the 18% reduction in crime in the area compared with last year.
Inspector Roger Tolley, neighbourhood Inspector for the Sedgemoor area, added: “This kind of criminality, which impacts not only on individual victims but the wider community, will not be tolerated.
“We will continue to work hard with the aim of maintaining and raising the public's trust and confidence in their local police service, to ensure that the community's needs are recognised and addressed and that the public, especially victims, are put first at all times.
“It is vital that the community continues talks to us. They are our eyes and ears. We need to know what is happening across the area.
“I encourage them to keep coming forward with information about what is happening in their neighbourhood. We will listen and we will take action - as this operation proves.”
Anyone with information regarding crime in the area is asked to contact police on 101.