Booklet warns landlords on drug dealers
Police are warning landlords that deodorant, stained coffee filters and small plastic bags may indicate their property has been turned into a drug factory.
Wandsworth Police has sent a pamphlet it created to 123 estate agents as well as accommodation services at Roehampton University.
It contains handy hints on how to spot drugs dealers and has been issued as part of the London-wide crackdown on drugs offences, codenamed Operation Hawk.
The booklet, titled Keeping Illegal Drugs Out of Rental Properties, contains advice on how to spot amphetamine laboratories and cannabis factories which have proliferated across the capital in recent years.
It includes pictures of warning signs landlords should look for as well as information on how to deter criminals from renting property.
Discarded cold or allergy medicines, strong chemical odours, new bars and lock and people smoking outside the property may indicate an amphetamine factory.
Paranoid behaviour, a sudden jump or fall in electricity bills and scuffed wallpaper may all point to a property being used to grow cannabis.
Police are appealing to landlords to report anybody they think might be dealing, selling or storing drugs within their properties.
Acting Sergeant Katy Shepherd said: "We are asking estate agents to disseminate it to the landlords that they have got on their lists.
"Hopefully it will spread the message out across the borough. We have worked with landlords targeting burglary and trying to help with issues securing homes, but not to this extent."
Hampton's Estate Agents, in Northcote Road, Battersea, said they have received the booklet.
A spokesperson said: "We go through a rigorous process when we vet our tenants. We have reference checks, we go as far as we possibly can.
"If we can't work out where income is coming from, we can't let it [the tenancy] go through.
"Obviously it is going to scare a lot of people to think there are huge numbers of drug dealers. We don't see this at all, with the quality of tenants coming through."
Anybody with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting met.police.uk/saferneighbourhoods.