Heat is on for cannabis farmers
Published 15/10/2013 | 16:11
A cannabis farmer was caught out when his secret work was revealed by a special heat-detecting camera mounted on a police helicopter.
West Midlands Police has released footage of the moment the farm was discovered more than 150ft up on the 10th storey of a Birmingham block of flats.
When officers raided the flat in Nechells' South Tower, officers found 143 cannabis plants inside worth £30,000.
The climate-controlled high-temperature environment needed to grow the plants was spotted by the helicopter crew as they headed back to base following a search in another part of the city in May.
A 28-year-old man was later arrested and charged with cannabis cultivation.
He was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for two years and ordered to attend a drugs rehabilitation course.
West Midlands Police's deputy air operations manager Martin Knowles said: "The crew were heading back from a search in the Solihull area when they noticed a clear heat source at a flat in Nechells.
"Our thermal cameras can detect unusually high temperatures coming from properties several thousand feet away.
"Anyone growing cannabis on a commercial scale, using rows of heat lamps, runs the very real risk their criminality will be rumbled from the skies."