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Officers from Essex Police's Operation Velo stumble upon cannabis factory...

Yesterday, we reported on Essex Police’s Operation Velo initiative that has put Bobbies back on their bikes in Southend – and the cycling cops have wasted no time in sniffing out crime and feeling some collars.

On Sunday evening, PC Paul Sheldrake and PCSO Luke Gamman, both members of the Operation Velo team, were patrolling the Woodgrange Estate on their bicycles when they smelt something suspicious.

Following his nose – literally – PC Sheldrake tracked the pungent aroma to an address on Woodgrange Drive, where he discovered a cannabis factory.

According to local newspaper the Echo, four men in their twenties were arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis, two from Southend and two from London. Some 4 cannabis plants were also seized.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

5 comments

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 5 years ago
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Perhaps pot sniffing cycle cops could also crack down on drivers. I'd just reached the end of my road this morning when I came up behind the first, a bloke in a white Mercedes van. I overtook the second on the South Circular, being already aware of what he was doing and having made sure I had plenty of room. On average I pass about two drivers/day smoking cannabis while behind the wheel. Cops in patrol cars would never know.

This is a serious safety problem in the UK. At the moment the authorities do not have drug testing kits for drivers either. There is widespread research showing that drivers who smoke cannabis while driving present similar risks to drink drivers. There is also research suggesting that drivers who smoke cannabis at the wheel are more likely to be involved in accidents, drive defective vehicles, have no insurance, MOT or current/valid licence and be connected with criminal behvaiour of one sort or another.

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dlp [51 posts] 5 years ago
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I followed a Council recycling collection van in Bristol for 3 miles or so a while back and there was a very pungent aroma of cannabis coming from the vehicle - I made a point not to overtake.

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 5 years ago
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Is there anywhere you can report these vehicles and the drivers to the police?

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wild man [297 posts] 5 years ago
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Four plants?- I thought from your headline they'd nabbed Mr Big or Mr Nice; do you have a friend in the Essex Police press office?

It does show the advantage of not being cocooned from the world in a car though, I suppose.

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jova54 [644 posts] 5 years ago
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Just goes to help the case that taking coppers out of their tin boxes and putting them back on the streets, either on foot or bike, gets them closer to the people and more aware of their surroundings.