Here is what to do if you think your neighbours are smoking cannabis
While some people may not be too bothered about their neighbours smoking cannabis in their own homes, others may find it particularly annoying.
It’s not uncommon for people to smell an illegal stench when they’re out and about but it becomes worse when it’s happening next door.
The smell of cannabis wafting over into people’s properties isn’t exactly the most welcome fragrance you can ask for. It’s a smell that’s hard to miss and even harder to get rid of, but there are steps you can take to nip the problem in the bud.
Although some people think it is perfectly legal to smoke cannabis in their own home, it is still a Class B drug with possession punishable by up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Police forces and partners have reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to ‘take action to improve the quality of life for communities who are affected’. However, they have stressed that their best method of tackling the problem is by help from the public.
A police spokesperson said: “Local residents are often best placed to see on a daily basis whether their neighbours are behaving suspiciously and could be in possession of, cultivating or supplying drugs in their homes.”
But, this doesn’t mean that your neighbours will automatically know it was you that alerted police to problem. Police have insisted that will never tell people information came from a neighbour and sometimes will use the tip-off as a starting point on areas they’ll patrol. As a result, they may smell cannabis themselves and knock on the door.
Crimestoppers have also said that people can contact them anonymously if they think their neighbours are smoking or cultivating cannabis near them.
A spokesperson said: “If you spot any of the signs that there may be a cannabis farm in your community you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“You will not be asked any personal details and neither your telephone number nor IP address will not be traced or recorded.”
However, if your neighbours rent their property, you can contact their landlord about this but there are constraints as to what they can do. A police spokesperson said: “If you own or let a property you need to be aware of your responsibility to ensure cannabis is not grown on your premises.
Advice for landlords from the PSNI: Know what to look for - Strong unpleasant or chemical odours; Smell of air fresheners; Chemistry equipment; Sophisticated weighing scales; Infrequent occupation; Additional fortifications e.g. doors; Electrical wiring having been tampered with; Powerful lights on all day / night; Windows blacked out; A jump / fall in electricity bills; Condensation on windows or peeling paint; Domestic 'tumble dryer' tubing; Bin bags full of vegetable waste; and an increase in the number of people calling at the house.
The PSNI have advised that the cost to landlords is: a reduction in property value - reputation of the neighbourhood suffers; loss of rent - during eviction or repair periods; damage to property - set up of equipment, neglect; increased insurance premiums; complaints from neighbours; and a criminal conviction - allowing your property to be used to produce drugs is a crime.
If you have any suspicions please contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
You can contact your local Crime Prevention Officer for further advice. CPOs can provide advice to individuals and can also address larger audiences, if necessary.