So yesterday turned out to be more adventurous than I had expected. Let’s start with going to my uncles’ house. That included my annoying cousin being stroppy because he didn’t like the presents he got. Mind you my mum did say that she’d got a CD of The Shadows she could have given him instead. I looked at her incredulously and she seemed to have no idea of why an eight year old would not have found that a appealing either.
Anyway, my other uncle was there, but he had come alone. His wife didn’t come because she was looking after their 20 year old son who had some kind of gastric condition. It seems it was worth her being there because it turns out he stopped breathing at one point and she had to call an ambulance. I think he is ok, but obviously not very well.
Then… I got home to find the police parked outside where I live. As I got out mum’s car I saw a policeman and asked him what was going on. Apparently my concerns about the windows being blacked out in the property next door were not unfounded – there was a cannabis factory there! The police weren’t overly informative, but one of my neighbours had been there all afternoon tracking what had been going on and it seems that the owner (who is the freeholder) had finally decided to visit the empty flat possibly to rent it out or sell it (this is a good thing!) and walked in to find that there were dodgy things going on. I didn’t think she called the police at that point but instead started removing the offending items from the property (for personal consumption?!). This does kind of illustrate what an idiot the freeholder is – you find that someone has illegally entered your property, so what do you do – start removing all the evidence? That’s bad enough in any circumstance, let alone when there is a cannabis factory and presumably the people will be back at some point.
Anyway, not knowing who this mysterious person was in the flat downstairs went down to find out what was going on and suggested she talk to the police and take all the stuff back in, which she did. The police arrived an hour later and were going through all the stuff and talking to the owner etc, when my neighbour heard a loud scream (the owner I think). One of the cannabis growers had come back and the police had grabbed him. He did then try to escape and fell over and injured himself, so an ambulance had to be called, but I think they arrested him anyway. How on earth you decide to sneak into an unused flat to carry out your nefarious purposes and blithely walk in having failed to notice police cars, police officers and other sundry people is a beyond me. Perhaps he had been smoking a bit too much of his own product.
So, although it wasn’t great what was going on next door, I am pleased that my concerns were not just paranoia. I had also noticed that there was condensation forming on the front window of the flat and was going to G (who was a biochemist until recently, so knows *everything*) if that is normal in an empty flat. I had also planned to write to the owner and speak to the police about it, but was trying to work out if I was just over-reacting because my suspicions didn’t really amount to much.
G reckons the reason they blacked out the windows, although obviously that would have just helped with not being seen, was primarily because you have to use very intense bright lights to cultivate cannabis and therefore it would have been glowing like Blackpool illuminations had they not done something to the windows. Anyway, at least it has been dealt with.
I do live in quite a nice area, by no means posh, but also by no means like some slum. It’s not the sort of place you normally find cannabis factories (or maybe it is and it is the perfect cover?!)
I’m going to go to the police station in a bit and ask them about it because the main things I want to know are:
- Do they think they arrested all the people or might we face problems if someone comes back and finds they have been rumbled?
- How do they think the people got in (to the property boundary), so that we can try and do something about it because if they could get in there someone could equally break into where one of us live and burgle us, although I do have a burglar alarm.
- Will the police help us put pressure on the freeholder to tighten up the security of the property as a whole, as I am hopeful this will mean she might be willing to take some action? Bizarrely knowing how lazy our freeholder is this might have exactly the opposite effect and mean that she finds it all too difficult and can’t cope, which is her normal reaction to things.
I should also check that the freeholder wasn’t somehow involved given that there was no sign of a break-in!
Anyway, I shall have to trust my observations and instincts more in future and hope that place will not be left unoccupied for much longer.
London’s weekly railway news #198
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