PEOPLE in Basingstoke could soon receive “scratch and sniff” cards to help them recognise cannabis factories.

The Crimestoppers charity said it will send thousands of the cards to addresses in Hampshire in a bid to raise awareness of houses where cannabis plants are grown on an industrial scale.

The cards give off a sickly, sweet smell to which the public should be alert, the charity said.

Other signs include constantly covered or blocked off windows, visitors at unsociable hours, strong and constant lighting day and night, high levels of heat and condensation, constant buzz of ventilation and lots of cables and cannabis cultivation equipment.

Roger Critchell, Crimestoppers director of operations, said: “We’re not looking to target individual users, we’re looking at something much bigger here, something much more dangerous, and we are targeting serious and organised crime groups who are involved in this illicit trade.”

The campaign is being run in conjunction with 17 police forces, after its launch last year.

Anyone with information on cannabis factories is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.