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12 arrests after Merseyside cannabis crackdown

Police have arrested 12 people and seized more than 260 cannabis plants during the second day of a week-long crack down on drugs gangs.

Officers executed drugs raids in Birkenhead, Rock Ferry, Southport, Kirkby, Halewood, Orrell Park, Aigbuth and Toxteth yesterday.

Crimestoppers are encouraging anyone who susepcts they live near or know where a cannis farm has been set up to pass on that information anonymously and in confidence so that the police can take action.

On Monday police arrested 14 people and seized more than 250 cannabis plants during the first day of the operation. Ammunition, cocaine and heroin were also seized as officers cracked down on organised criminal gangs.

Shameless star accused of producing cannabis

Jody Latham arrives at court Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Former Shameless and EastEnders star Jody Latham, from Lancashire, has appeared in court charged with producing cannabis.

Latham, 29, is accused of growing 24 plants, with a value of about £14,000, at an address in Bacup in May last year.

He found fame through the role of "Lip" Gallagher in Channel 4 drama Shameless.

He attended Burnley Magistrates' Court along with co-defendant Sarah Melia, 31, who faces the same charge.

No pleas were indicated for either defendant as the case was adjourned until October 10 when the matter is due to be committed to Burnley Crown Court.Latham, of Market Street, Bacup, and Melia, of Cotman Close, Bacup, were granted unconditional bail

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Key signs to spotting a cannabis farm

As police across the region pledge a crackdown on cannabis growers in the North West, forces have released a list of tell-tale signs that a farm may be in operation.

  • Strange smells and sounds
  • Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
  • Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans or industrial lighting
  • Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed
  • Heat from an adjoining property

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