?tucked away in the suburbs.?
Police constables from Grove Ward called to look into “a few cannabis plants” in an upmarket London suburb shortly before noon on Thursday 24 September 2015 were startled to instead discover a forestworth of the things. The complaint had been made by a member of the public who smelt cannabis. This was near Lower Marsh Lane in Kingston-upon-Thames. The plants were up to five feet tall.
The officers posed for photos which were posted to social media accompanied by such hashtags as #TheseArentXmasTrees. Two sergeants tweeted, “Welcome to the leafy suburbs of Kingston!” A tweet by the official account of Kingston Police exclaimed, “We found a forest!” One officer joked, “We’re going on a bear hunt.”
PC Sarah Henderson told the Evening Standard that the cannabis patch was “the size of a football pitch.” There were as many as 150 plants, not to mention a gazebo. She added that the location was remote, accessible only after a 20-minute walk through wasteland. She gloated, “But all their time, trouble and gardening skills will go unrewarded, as the whole lot will now be destroyed by police.”
30-year-old Matt Leary, a stone and marble wholesaler resident nearby, expressed surprise that there was such a cannabis patch on his doorstep, “tucked away in the suburbs.” He mentioned that he knew of no other serious crime in the vicinity, but fretted that a gang might have been responsible. A Sikh woman was dismayed that such a thing had been undertaken so near a temple.
The penalty for growing cannabis can be up to 14 years of chokey. No arrests have been made in this case, and police have asked for snivelling grasses to call 101.