A BASINGSTOKE man has been arrested after police found a large number of cannabis plants from an address in Black Dam.

The 20-year-old man was arrested from a property on Gainsborough Road on Friday, October 1, on suspicion of cultivating cannabis plants.

Police said the man has been released on bail and their enquiries are ongoing.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “On Friday 1 October, officers from the Basingstoke High Harm Team executed a warrant at an address on Gainsborough Road.

“Officers searched the property and found a large number of cannabis plants.

A 20-year-old man, from Basingstoke, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis plants.”

Residents of Gainsborough Road had told the Gazette that they saw police officers arrive in the residential street on Friday morning, and remain on the scene until Saturday afternoon.

One nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said they estimated between 10 and 15 officers were in attendance as well as riot equipment and what they believed to be a forensics team.

Initially, police said it was an assault case, and a woman was released without charge as part of an investigation into allegations of assault without injury.

But the police have clarified today (Monday) that there were in fact two incidents in Gainsborough Road over the weekend. The woman released was part of the assault investigation.

The drug warrant was the second incident which involved several officers of Basingstoke High Harm Team.

Police also issued an appeal to people to report drug-related activities if they come across any.

Police added: “We know that a lot of people think it is just a bit of cannabis, but we want to stress that any production of drugs is linked to hidden harm.

“Large-scale operations like this are often run by organised crime gangs, who are likely to engage in very serious violence involving weapons, such as firearms.

“The electrical requirement to grow this many plants is also really dangerous and can be a huge fire risk, putting neighbouring properties, and lives, in danger.

“This is why we are keen to hear from people who suspect there is a cannabis cultivation, or drug-related activity, taking place.

“Every call you make is logged and helps us build up an intelligence picture about what might be happening in your community.

“This allows us to take action and prevent your neighbourhood from harm.

“People can contact us on 101 or online at https://www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report/.

“Alternatively you can report to Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.”