Police sniff out £100,000 Edinburgh cannabis farm

The haul of cannabis was found in a flat in Gorgie during a 'vertical policing' exercise. Picture: Toby Williams
The haul of cannabis was found in a flat in Gorgie during a 'vertical policing' exercise. Picture: Toby Williams
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A CANNABIS farm worth more than £100,000 was sniffed out by police officers who noticed the drug’s aroma while on patrol in a tenement stairwell.

Teams of officers were taking part in so-called “vertical policing” in the Gorgie area as part of newly-launched 
Operation Wolf.

The patrols saw officers deployed into common stairwells to check for signs of offending as well as walking the surrounding streets.

Officers picked up the distinctive scent of cannabis coming from a second-floor flat in Gorgie Road on Wednesday and later raided the property, battering down its front door.

Inside, they recovered dried buds worth £83,320 and mature plants valued at £19,500.

A resident in the stairwell, who asked not to be named, said: “I’d no idea this was going on. But when the police had the door open and they brought the plants downstairs you could really smell it.

“Officers took out a big extractor fan from the flat so these people must’ve been using that to get rid of the smell. I’ve no idea who lived there though.

“The police dumped the soil from the plants in our back garden, which I wasn’t happy about.”

No arrests have been made following the discovery, but police chiefs said they were following “positive lines of inquiry”.

Operation Wolf ran in Gorgie on Wednesday and Thursday following its official launch this week.

Superintendent Matt Richards, who is leading the operation, said: “We had additional patrols to target antisocial behaviour, drug dealing and violence in Gorgie.

“Vertical patrolling is when we don’t just patrol the street but go into the stairwell or lifts to check the whole building for any issues.

“It’s a tactic we do use, but Operation Wolf gave us the additional resources to carry out these patrols.

“It was an officer who smelled cannabis which brought about this seizure.”

Forensic specialists combed the flat for DNA traces and fingerprints while a steel door was bolted on the property to block entry.

Pc Kris Harvey, who was on the patrols, said: “This is a fantastic result for Operation Wolf, and this sizeable find will have a knock-on effect on organised crime.”

In Gorgie, officers visited 25 pubs, off-licences, bookmakers and second-hand dealers to make sure they were meeting licensing conditions.

They also visited the homes of domestic abusers to ensure they were adhering to bail conditions or curfews. One arrest was made for a bail 
breach.

During the next three weeks, Operation Wolf will crack down on serious and organised crime gangs, tackle vehicle safety and drink and drug driving, and send out extra patrols to police the city centre’s nighttime 
economy.