Police find £20m of cannabis after investigating power cuts in Rotherham

More than 20,000 cannabis plants have been recovered in Rotherham since October 2021. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

More than 20,000 cannabis plants with a street value of more than £20.5million have been uncovered after a police investigation into power cuts in Rotherham.

South Yorkshire Police and National Powergrid discovered a number of cannabis farms following unexplained black outs in the Eastwood area.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, one resident of Hatherley Road said she suffered 13 power cuts in two weeks, which Northern Powergrid said were due to people making "illegal connections" to the electricity network in order to power their cannabis farms.

Police and Rotherham Council teamed up to launch an operation targeting the problem.

Since October 2021, 122 warrants have been executed as part of the operation, leading to 50 arrests and 120 prohibition notices served by partners under the Housing Act.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner, said that there had been a "sustained reduction in violence-related offences and linked anti-social behaviour" and power cuts had effectively stopped

The operation has now been expanded to Maltby and Dinnington, with plans for further investigation "to pursue the problematic landlords and explore links to other crime groups".

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