A BUSINESSMAN and former South Tyneside councillor believes he stumbled on a nasty surprise in the cellar of a property he had rented out – an industrial-scale cannabis farm.
When Ahmed Khan eventually gained entry to the flat in Dean Road, South Shields, after a former tenant left, he found “all the paraphernalia” of a drug operation.
He says the electricity supply had been by-passed and there was a trail of compost leading to the cellar – where he discovered an extraction pipe and plants on the floor.
But when he contacted the police, he was told there not enough evidence of an offence having being committed.
And he was informed that the damage inside the property was a civil, not a criminal matter.
The decision not to investigate has angered Mr Khan, who formerly represented the Beacon and Bents ward of South Tyneside Council as an independent.
“How on earth is by-passing electricity, ripping out an electricity meter and smashing a hole in the wall and ceiling a civil matter?
“There was an extraction pipe, there were even plants still on the floor.
“If you were that way inclined, you could probably still manage to smoke it.
“I believe the decision not to investigate was the easy option.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “On July 18, police received a report of remnants of a possible cannabis farm at an address in Dean Road, South Shields.
“Officers attended the address, where an amount of compost and plant matter was found.
“However, no drugs were found by officers, and therefore no drugs offences had been committed.
“Damage in relation to the items found was also reported.
“However, advice was given that this constitutes a civil matter.”