8:13 AM, 12th September 2011, About 13 years ago
A landlord is counting the cost of taking a year’s rent upfront from renters who turned out to be a drugs gang who turned his buy to let home in to a cannabis factory.
The house was destroyed in a fire sparked by the gang tampering with the electricity supply to bypass meters in the house.
Neighbours alerted the fire service and police to the blaze in the early hours, but flames ripped through the property before the fire was brought under control.
Hundreds of cannabis plants were found in every room in the house at Sutherland Road, Hazel Leys, Corby.
Northamptonshire Police confirmed the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
They are urging landlords and letting agents to inspect properties regularly to prevent drugs gangs growing cannabis in them.
Northamptonshire police also arrested a 36-year-old man in Daventry after cannabis plants were found in another rented house. The incident was not connected with the Corby fire.
In Bethnal Green, East London, a man was arrested for growing cannabis in a rented property after witnesses told police they had seen him selling drugs from a black cab in nearby streets.
Meanwhile, detectives arrested a 56-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman running a cannabis factory at a buy to let house in Maidstone.
Mature cannabis plants and cultivation equipment were found at the property. The haul is thought to be worth about £9,000.
The pair have been released on bail until Thursday, October 27.
DI Emma Banks from Kent Police said: “Every cannabis factory that we shut down reduces the quantity of cannabis available in Kent.
“This crop was almost ready for harvesting so the timing of the information we received was perfect.”