Police warn ahead of cannabis season

(File)
(File)

Police warn the public to be wary of suspicious behaviour ahead of the cannabis planting season.

Police say organised crime groups plant cannabis and other drugs in isolated and remote areas within the Waitemata, Auckland City and Counties Manukau.

Anyone working in the farming industry along with pig-hunters, trampers and mountain bikers are asked to keep watch for suspicious behaviour in these rural areas.

In the past police say organised crime groups have intimidated legitimate users of regional parks, trespassed on private land, destroyed farm crops, stolen farm equipment and damaged locks on gates.

"The methods criminals use to grow a cannabis crop are no different to how the public would grow fruit and vegetables in their own gardens," says Detective Sergeant Callum McNeill from the Waitemata Police.

"Seedlings are planted in spaces where there is sunlight, plants are regularly watered and fertilised [and] pests are kept away from crops by netting and fencing."

Police urge any suspicious behaviour to be reported to local police or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Sgnt McNeill says growing cannabis is unusual because it has to be done in remote locations.

"We urge the community to be vigilant," he says. "We want to hear about any of this activity."

Indications cannabis is being grown:

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