Learn to pick the signs which indicate a drug den may be operating in your neighbourhood.
Learn to pick the signs which indicate a drug den may be operating in your neighbourhood. Brett Wortman/bw160687h

Friendly neighbour or drug lord? Learn to spot a drug-den

KNOW the tell-tale signs which indicate your neighbour may be a drug grower.

The Commander of State Crime Command's Drug Squad, Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham, has announced the launch of a new drug reporting campaign, designed to help members of the public spot illegal drug houses.

According to Detective Superintendent Bingham drug houses are operating in many towns and neighbourhoods throughout NSW.

Many of these drug dens blend into regular suburbia and neighbours may have no idea what the house is being used for.

"In 2013 alone, the NSW Police Force has closed down 86 clandestine laboratories, used to manufacture drugs like 'Ice', speed and ecstasy, and 163 hydro houses, used for growing cannabis," Detective Superintendent Bingham said.

"Many of these drug dens blend into regular suburbia and neighbours may have no idea what the house is being used for.

"We are hopeful that this new poster will educate members of the community on the signs that distinguish a drug house from a regular home."

Detective Superintendent Bingham added that members of the community should never enter a property they suspect is being used illegally.

"As we have seen in recent times, clan labs and cannabis houses are dangerous environments, not just for the criminals manufacturing drugs inside them, but for innocent people in nearby homes or businesses," Detective Superintendent Bingham said.

"Drug houses typically house a toxic mix of chemicals in an unregulated, unstable setting - the perfect environment for a fire or explosion.

"If your suspicions are aroused by some strange signs or odd activity at a home in your neighbourhood, do not approach the property but rather contact police immediately."

What to look for:

  • Strange odours emanating from the property
  • Diverted electricity
  • Chemical containers and waste
  • Blacked out windows
  • Hoses and pipes in strange places
  • Blinds down, with extremely bright indoor lighting radiating through gaps
  • Vehicles arriving at odd hours

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