Drugs raid at Pateley farm as part of cannabis investigation

Drugs raids in the Harrogate district in recent years have found cannabis grows like this one, pictured above, worth more than half a million pounds.

Drugs raids in the Harrogate district in recent years have found cannabis grows like this one, pictured above, worth more than half a million pounds.

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A drugs raid at a farm in Pateley Bridge on Monday evening has resulted in the arrest of three people from the Harrogate area.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police executed a warrant and raided a farmhouse at 7.30pm on Monday night, as part of an investigation.

A spokesman said: “Police executed a warrant at a farm in the Pateley Bridge area at 7.30pm on Monday, July 16, in connection with an investigation into the illegal production of a Class B drug.

“As a result of the raid three people from the Harrogate area, two men aged 47 and 33 and a 21-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis.

“The 47-year-old man and the woman have been released on bail to allow for further enquires.”

As reported previously in the Harrogate Advertiser, cannabis growing in rural areas is on the increase and farms found in the district in recent months have been worth an estimated half a million pounds.

Raids at four sites in Harrogate and Ripon in the past two years have uncovered growing operations ranging in size from 150 to 750 plants.

DC Karen Spivey, speaking to the Advertiser in May, said residents across the district needed to be aware of growers who could be using residential homes as a base for criminal activities.

“We need to be vigilant, ” said DC Karen Spivey, drugs liaison officer for North Yorkshire Police. “It’s an ongoing problem - it’s for us all to do our bit.”

The most recent report from the Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO) says the threat from the cultivation of cannabis is a growing one - with a rise in the number of robberies, burglaries and violence linked to cannabis farms in domestic properties.

Allan Gibson, commander of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “Commercial cultivation of cannabis continues to pose a significant risk to the UK.

“Increasing numbers of organised crime group are diverting into this area of criminality; their perception is that it is a low risk, highly profitable criminal business.”

Anyone with information about the current police investigation at the farmhouse in Pateley Bridge is asked to call Ripon Police on 101, asking for Sgt Turner.

Anyone wishing to pass on information about people involved in the production of illegal drugs should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.