What you can do if you think your neighbour is smoking cannabis during lockdown

The pungent aroma is hard to miss if someone near you is smoking cannabis.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 29th May 2020, 2:24 pm
Updated Friday, 29th May 2020, 2:24 pm

With people spending more time at home during the coronavirus lockdown, there’s a chance you may have sniffed it wafting through the air from a neighbour’s property.

So what can you do if you think neighbours are lighting up, or even growing the drug, near your home?

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Cannabis is a Class B drug

Although some people think it's perfectly legal to smoking cannabis in your own home, they're sadly mistaken.

Cannabis is still a Class B drug and anyone caught in possession is committing an offence and will be dealt with by police.

South Yorkshire Police has said the force and its partners 'will continue to take action to improve the quality of life for communities who are affected'.

However, it stressed that its best method of tackling the problem is with help from the public.

A spokesperson for the force said: "Local residents are often best placed to see on a daily basis whether their neighbours are behaving suspiciously and could be in possession of, cultivating or supplying drugs in their homes."

Police added that that if you do get in touch, your neighbours won't find out it was you who tipped them off.

Officers will say they received a call about cannabis usage and may also use the tip-off as a starting point on areas they will patrol. If the officers then smell the cannabis themselves, they may knock on the door and tackle the problem themselves.

Crimestoppers said people could get in touch anonymously if they think their neighbours are smoking or cultivating cannabis, by calling 0800 555 111 or using its online form.

"You will not be asked any personal details and neither your telephone number nor IP address will not be traced or recorded."

If your neighbours rent their property, you can contact their landlord about this but are constraints as to what they can do.

Police said the consequences of allowing cannabis cultivation include a reduction in property values, increased insurance premiums, hostile tenants, and up to 14 years imprisonment and a criminal record.

If a landlord suspects the use of cannabis on their property, they can arrange a visit as long as they have warned their tenant they will be doing so. However, landlords are not bound to keep your tip-off anonymous like the police will do.

West Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Brian Booth said that the force has seen a rise in calls from neighbours reporting lockdown flouting in the area, as well as an increase in domestic abuse.

He added that cannabis is 'illegal, end of story', but that it 'probably wouldn't be a priority' if he was a sergeant out on the beat.

Police in South Yorkshire have unearthed a number of cannabis farms since the lockdown began in March, including one which went up in flames, possibly due to the dangerous and illegal electrical set-up, and another which had 150 plants growing across four rooms.