MEMBERS of the public have been urged to help police clamp down on illegal cannabis farms.
The appeal follows a rise in the number of cases reported across the Strathclyde area.
#Superintendent Bob Hamilton, who is based at Cumbernauld Police Office, said: "Unfortunately, the number of cannabis factories that are being discovered throughout the Strathclyde Police area, within occupied and unoccupied premises, is on the increase.
"The owners or tenants of these properties are solely interested in profit-making and bringing misery to many people.
"The level of heat and power sources required to cultivate these plants creates a very serious risk of fire within the premises, which could affect adjoining buildings.
"People's lives are being put at risk by these unscrupulous individuals."
The police have issued a check list of signs for residents to look out for: windows being permanently covered from the inside; visits to the premises at unusual times of the day or night; people only visiting the property to maintain it and not live in it; cannabis by-products such as used fertiliser being removed in black bin bags or laundry bags; compost bags or gardening equipment being left outside; a vent protruding through the roof or a rear window; a pungent smell coming from the premises and the noise of cooling fans.
Anyone with information can contact Cumbernauld Police Station on 01236 503900 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.