Cambridgeshire Police Impact Team

08:45 Tuesday 5th April 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Several drugs raids have been taking place in and around the city this morning, and our reporter Johnnie Dee is in Thorney, where a raid took place in just the last hour. Morning Johnnie. (OB)
JOHNNIE DEE: Good morning Paul. Yes I’m on Wisbech Road in Thorney. If you go to the left of me at the moment it’s Guyhurn, and the other way is Peterborough. And there is a row of old terraced cottages, known as Bedford Cottages, erected by the Duke of Bedford in the 1800s. And outside Paul, something very unusual is going on, because we’ve got a large blue police van, two police patrol cars, and lots of police officers I can see in front of me, in this little cottage. I’ve got with me now Inspector Mark Rodgers. Mark, what’s been going on today?
MARK RODGERS: Yes, good morning. What’s happened, we’ve had intelligence that this premises has been used as a drugs factory, cultivating cannabis.
JOHNNIE DEE: And I believe this is your second visit of the day to somewhere in Cambridgeshire.
MARK RODGERS: Yes. We did an address in Peterborough earlier this morning. We had information that there was hard drugs being used in a premises, so we’re searching that one at the moment as well.
JOHNNIE DEE: And this is called an Impact Fund, is it?
MARK RODGERS: No this is called the Impact Team. It’s been set up to actually look at the priority offenders in Peterborough. We’ve got about 50. And this team has been put together to simply target the worst offenders in Peterborough.
JOHNNIE DEE: Can we just go inside the actual building? Because it’s just like a normal everyday cottage here, Paul. I’m just going in the front door now. As I say, what has hit me straight away is I’ve got lots of police officers around me, and there’s a sofa, a television, and it’s all quite normal at the moment. Going through this room here into another room, a little hallway. Ah, and what we see now .. just going back slightly, because I think we might have lost our signal, but what I did see there .. have we got Mark there still? What we saw there was a wardrobe Paul, an open wardrobe, and it’s got like tinfoil almost, like you use in cooking, on the outside, and a very bright light. And inside there are some plants. What are they?
MARK RODGERS: They’re definitely cannabis plants. And upstairs, as well, there’s another wardrobe which is full of cannabis plants as well. This bloke’s obviously cultivating to sell on.
JOHNNIE DEE: And a very sweet smell in the air.
MARK RODGERS: Yes you’d never forget it, would you? Once you smell cannabis, you’ve got it for ever. Yes, very sweet. It’s very pungent. I don’t know what the neighbours think, but clearly it’s all getting out of the premises as well.
JOHNNIE DEE: And I did go upstairs earlier and have a look. But as I say, I wouldn’t describe this as a farm exactly. It’s not is it?
MARK RODGERS: No it’s not a farm. It’s on a smaller scale. But he’s obviously got a good little operation going here. Unfortunately he’s now going on his way to Thorpe Wood Police Station, where he’ll be interviewed. And I would have thought he’d be charged and go to court on this as well.
JOHNNIE DEE: Now you mentioned it was local intelligence that led you here. But what sort of things do they look for?
MARK RODGERS: Well, you know, we have lots of people telling us what’s going on. We need intelligence. We need people to come forward and tell us what’s going on through the local Neighbourhood Policing Team, or obviously CrimeStoppers. They need to tell us what’s going on, because that’s the lifeblood of how the police work, you know, working in partnership with people who are good enough to ring up and tell us what’s going on in their community.
JOHNNIE DEE: And how many officers did you say are on thsi job?
MARK RODGERS: There’s about 15 officers this morning who raided the two premises.
JOHNNIE DEE: And any more to do today?
MARK RODGERS: Well that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
JOHNNIE DEE: Indeed sir. That’s Inspector Mark Rodgers, here on Wisbech Road in Thorney. (STUDIO)
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. And a beautiful smell there, in Thorney. Expect that flavour air-freshener in your local supermarkets soon.

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Variant broadcast 17:06 Tuesday 5th April 2011
Drivetime Cambridgeshire

JOHNNIE DEE: In front of me I’ve got a sofa, fireplace, television, lots of police officers round of course. And if I go further in, we can see .. after you .. the first signs of something slightly unusual, which is a large wardrobe with silver foil, and it’s got inside several cannabis plants, and a strong light in there. This is what you’ve come to find.
POLICE OFFICER: Yes. This is good news for us. We’ve obviously come here and found sixteen cannabis plants in this one wardrobe, that’s been set up on a commercial basis. And upstairs, when you’ve got there in a minute, you’ll see that’s the same sort of thing up there as well.

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