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Detectives have urged people to be wary of bogus road and electrical works which could be linked to drugs gangs.
The warning comes following our specialist Operation Costello organised crime team carrying out a warrant in Bedford this week.
The operation in Barkers Lane on Tuesday (27 February) uncovered a cannabis factory with a sophisticated growth set up.
The electricity supply to the property had been tampered with, with the pathway having been dug up in order to connect the mains electricity directly into the property via an extension cable.
Some 235 cannabis plants with a street value of up to £175,000 were located inside and seized.
Detective Inspector Ian Holden said: “These are ruthless criminal networks behind these cannabis operations – which pose all manner of danger to our communities.
“I have no doubt that the work to set this up would have caused power cuts to neighbouring properties, while even more properties had to have their power shut off for the repair work.
“This is immensely disruptive and frustrating, without even considering the wider safety implications in terms of things like fire risk.
“People need to be alert to these risks. If you see someone digging up a road, tampering with mains electricity and have your suspicions, I would urge you to contact police.”
The likes of UK Power Networks use clearly signed vans and will have a permit number displayed on things like barriers for people to query any ongoing work.
Their engineers also have ID badges which have their name, ID number and photograph on.
If customers suspect any illegal activity such as meter tampering or energy theft, they can contact ‘Stay Energy Safe’ on 08000 232777 or report anonymously online.
For more information about organised crime in Bedfordshire, the signs to spot and to report concerns, please visit our Operation Costello page.
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