Homes found with pot grow-ops made public online
Surrey is reporting far more pot grow-ops than other jurisdictions in B.C., which Mounties say is due in part to a dedicated team tackling the the clandestine operations.
As part of a new program called the Marijuana Grow Initiative, police are making public all places where they seize marijuana grow operations.
The addresses of homes where marijuana grow-ops are found have been published on the RCMP website, and as of Friday (Sept. 23), 26 out of the 60 published are in Surrey.
The bulk of grow-ops were found in the northern edges of the city, with small clusters of them in Fraser Heights and Newton.
RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said the high number of homes posted from Surrey is due to a dedicated team of officers in the city targeting the operations.
He said making the areas available to local residents raises public awareness about where the grow-ops have been found.
Sometimes, the grow-ops pop up in the same community or same home shortly after they're shut down.
The Marijuana Grow Initiative was unveiled the day after the federal Safe Streets and Community Act, was introduced in the House, which calls for tougher penalties and regulations for crime on several fronts.
For those involved in growing marijuana, the maximum penalty has doubled from seven to 14 years in jail.
The initiatives are being hailed as great news by Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, who is also president of the Fire Chiefs Association of B.C.
“Marijuana grow operations continue to be a source of fires due to the improper installation and use of electrical equipment,” Garis said in a release. “The RCMP initiative already has the hallmarks of success by including communities in the solution and by attacking this entrenched problem from a variety of angles – and it will soon have additional support from the new legislation.”
Making the properties public will also help homebuyers and realtors assess which areas might be associated with drug production.
Research has indicated that a home with a grow operation is 24 times more likely to burn than one without.
The public can access the database for grow-operation location in all RCMP jurisdictions at: http://bit.ly/r8YeqJ
* Addresses of Surrey grow ops provided by RCMP website