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Gran calls for police to act on Spalding 'cannabis' finds

A Spalding grandma who found four carrier bags stuffed with what she is sure were cannabis leaves wants to know why police aren't investigating.

Jane Blandford (51) found the bags on separate walks within the last month after pets Hugo and Ozzy turned "sniffer dogs".

After the first find, Jane called police and says: "I got told to put it in the bin or take it to the police station the next day."

Jane Blandford with dogs Hugo and Ozzy who sniffed out the cannabis. (200519-6)
Jane Blandford with dogs Hugo and Ozzy who sniffed out the cannabis. (200519-6)

Our Spalding Guardian photographer - who has witnessed confirmed cannabis finds - says the leaves he saw at Jane's home this week looked and smelled like the drug.

But police say "experienced officers" examined the contents of a carrier bag handed in on Tuesday and they didn't believe it to be the drug.

Jane Blandford with the leaves that look and smell like “weed”
Jane Blandford with the leaves that look and smell like “weed”

Jane's husband Andrew has also found two bags of leaves during his voluntary tidying up of their St Paul's ward estate.

Up to now, the couple have handed in three bags at the police station and burned the rest.

Jane says police aren't asking questions about where the leaves were found when the carrier bags are handed in.

"They don't turn round and say 'we will look into it'," said Jane. "They say 'we will get rid of it'. They should be asking. They just don't seem to ask the right questions."

Jane says she knows nothing at all about drugs but she showed one bag to a third party who said "I think that's about £1,000 worth".

She believes cannabis must be being grown in the area and wonders why police haven't put up a helicopter with a thermal imaging camera to locate the source.

The couple's finds come in the wake of comments from Lincolnshire Chief Constable Bill Skelly, who said the supply and use of illegal drugs in South Holland "is among our top five priorities".

Mr Skelly spoke about drugs following the death of Moulton Chapel teenager Alex Buchan (14) on April 6, describing his passing as "a tragic incident as a result of an illegal substance that's at the very hardest and sharpest end of drug taking and abuse".

Jane Blandford believes this to be cannabis. (200519-8)
Jane Blandford believes this to be cannabis. (200519-8)

Spalding-based police inspector Gareth Boxall said yesterday (Wednesday): "We were very grateful to the member of public who found a quantity of what looked like cannabis in January.

"Unfortunately due to the environmental conditions, no forensic evidence was available and therefore we arranged for the destruction of what had been found. I am also grateful for the genuine concern of the member of the public who brought what they suspected to be cannabis into the station yesterday. This was examined by several experienced police officers who confirmed that it was not cannabis.

"Addressing issues with drugs is one of many things that our officers work really hard on, although meaningful action takes time and I understand this is sometimes frustrating. The nature of this work usually means we can't publicise what we are doing unless charges are brought. I understand this leaves our community with unanswered questions.

"I've recently been able to update local residents about some of our work, for example, the closure order in Spalding and the recent search warrant executed in Holbeach.

"As always, I encourage anyone with information about drug dealing to contact us on 101 or anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111."

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