A Torbay Council Senior Environmental Health Officer has been praised by the Police for discovering a cannabis stash during a routine inspection of premises in Paignton earlier last week.

The officer was carrying out an investigation into an alleged illegal tattoo studio and after gaining entry with the landlord he became aware of a strong smell of cannabis. Devon and Cornwall Police were called and on further inspection 25 cannabis plants were located.

Councillor Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Safer Communities, Highways, Environment and Sport said: “Officers within our Community Safety Team, which Environmental Health is part of, work hard to ensure that commercial premises throughout Torbay are safe and hygienic for our residents and visitors. I am delighted that whilst at the premises a member of our staff was able to make such an important discovery and contact the police who have since made an arrest.

"The council work with the police on a daily basis and this is another good example of effective partnership working."

Cannabis is a Class B drug and if convicted of being in possession of it, the sentence can include up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Those convicted of the supply and production of cannabis can receive up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Acting Sergeant Jeff Coe from Devon and Cornwall Police working with the council’s Community Safety Team said “Tackling crime is not just a job for the police and I praise the efforts of the council officer who was able to take swift action so that we were able to attend the property in question, seize items and make an arrest.

"We rely on information from our partners and local residents to help us prevent and respond to crime. If any resident in Torbay suspects that cannabis or other illegal substances are being used at, or dealt from a local address we would urge them to contact the police on telephone 101 or contact CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Illegal drugs cause significant harm to individuals, families and the wider community and Devon and Cornwall Police will continue to pursue offenders and bring them to justice”.

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