Neighbours tell of stink from raid flat

Police officers outside the flat in West Pilton Rise
Police officers outside the flat in West Pilton Rise
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NEIGHBOURS have told how they suspected a flat was being used to grow cannabis after a police raid sparked dramatic scenes.

Officers in three cars and a van burst into West Pilton Rise yesterday afternoon before entering a block of flats.

Eyewitnesses said a man was led away by police before forensics teams arrived to remove the suspicious substances.

Some residents said they had noticed unusual activity at the property in recent times, while a pungent smell was noticable in the stairwell in the wake of the raid.

One neighbour who watched police arrive at the scene said: “You would hear cars in the street all of the time, sometimes in the early hours of the morning.

“We had some idea that something wasn’t right – they weren’t discreet about it.

“There would be people coming and they would never stay for very long and it was not the same faces.

“When the wind blew in the right direction you would smell something. It was quite distinctive. And the curtains would be shut every day. It wasn’t normal.”

The resident, who has lived in West Pilton Rise for seven years, added: “It’s got much worse around here. It used to be a lovely street and was really clean.

“Now we find syringes all of the time.

“Half of the time we have to pick them up ourselves.

“The bairns come in and you’re checking to see if they’ve stabbed themselves.

“I would like to see something done. To be honest, this doesn’t shock me at all.”

Following the raid, which took place at about 1.30pm yesterday, ScottishPower engineers arrived at the property to carry out work on its electricity meter. Another neighbour said he had become aware of suspicious activity at the flat within the past fortnight.

He said: “You did notice cars coming in and out, mostly at night. They seemed to turn up as soon as it got dark.

“You would walk down the road and there would be a hideous smell. Maybe this is what it could have been.

“It wasn’t overpowering but you could definitely smell something.

“I didn’t think much of it at first but them something like this happens and it all falls into place.”

A resident who lived in the same block as the raid said that the flat had been quiet, but that the smell coming from it had become stronger in the past two weeks.

Police today refused to release any details of the scale of the operation.

However, a force spokeswoman said: “A 31-year-old man has been detained.”