Help rope a dope grower: Police

By Kristin Edge


While those veges in the garden will be bolting with the warm rain, so too will the cannabis crops of green-fingered Northland drug growers.

Warm weather combined with rain equates to excellent growing conditions, and police are urging people to report suspicious behaviour that could be connected to illegal drug growing.

A special freephone number, dubbed "Crimestoppers", has been utilised by people in Northland this summer wanting to dob in dope growers.

Northland Detective Sergeant John Miller said police had been receiving information on the phoneline run by an independent organisation that allowed people to leave anonymous information. Mr Miller said officers had followed up excellent information.

While the rain meant less watering for growers, they would still be putting fertiliser on plants and fencing off plots in the bush.

"People need to report anything suspicious to us,"Mr Miller said.

Nationally, Crimestoppers has had an impact on criminal activity. Deputy Commissioner, Operations, Mike Bush, said one in four pieces of information the public gave anonymously to Crimestoppers was forwarded to police for assessment of its intelligence value.

Since October 2009, information from Crimestoppers had been responsible for, or contributed to, nearly 700 charges being laid against 250 people.

"These charges are for offences such as drug cultivation, manufacture and supply, serious assaults, sex offences and illegal weapons. We've also been able to charge some fraudsters, recidivist burglars and receivers of stolen goods," Mr Bush said.

Crimestoppers' guarantee of anonymity made it easy for people who may not feel comfortable talking to police directly to pass on what they knew about crime.

To contact Crimestoppers, call 0800 555 111 or use the secure web form at www.crimestoppers-nz.org

- Northern Advocate

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