Man stopped by police during routine traffic operation leads officers to discover hundreds of cannabis plants growing at his home in South Yorkshire

A man who was stopped by police during a routine traffic operation was found growing hundreds of cannabis plants at his home in South Yorkshire.

A generic police picture.

The 25-year-old man was stopped by police in New Street Barnsley, on March 3, as part of a routine traffic stop.

When police approached the man they got a strong smell of cannabis coming from his vehicle. A road side drugs test was conducted, as well as a search of the car, but the driver passed the test and nothing was found.

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PC Tom Casserley still felt something wasn't quite right and further checks revealed the driver had no licence or insurance and the vehicle was seized. Further intelligence also revealed the man was wanted by immigration and he was arrested under the immigration act.

PC Casserley said: "While the man was in custody, information led us to believe he could be involved in the cultivation of cannabis and he was subsequently further arrested.

"The outcome shows that routine traffic stops are essential and often lead to further criminality being detected. As roads policing officers we continue to work hard to intercept criminals who use our road network."

Following PC Casserley's work, officers executed a warrant at a property linked to the driver on Princess Street and discovered 246 large cannabis plants, plus evidence of electrics being tampered with inside and outside, including changes in the concreting and infrastructure outside the property.

The Yorkshire Post previously revealed how a Cannabis Grow Aware Scheme was first launched in Barnsley by PC Paul Davies, enabling landlords to protect their properties from being used by criminals.

The scheme ensures that landlords carry out checks on their properties every eight to ten weeks; this frequency ensures there is not enough time for plants to be grown and chopped for drug production.

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PC Paul Davies said: "Alongside the criminality associated with cannabis production, there are also associated dangers with the changes offenders make to properties.

"Tampering with electrics increases the risk of fire not only to that property but adjoining and neighbouring buildings.

"Alongside landlords working with us we are asking that the public also help us. If you suspect a property being used for cannabis cultivation please report it via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers.

“The signs to be aware of are a heavy constant smell of cannabis, windows blacked out, excessive condensation on windows, letterbox blocked, heavy use of anti-odour devices, bins not being used and visitors at unusual hours staying for a short period of time.

“Further to these signs we now have intelligence to suspect that offenders are pretending to be contractors working outside properties while they make changes to the electrics, as a result of this residents are being urged to keep an eye out for suspicious changes to pavements, with a low quality of workmanship.”

The 25-year-old man has been charged with the production of cannabis and is due to appear before Sheffield Crown Court later this month.