Police are raiding at least one cannabis factory a week in a city neighbourhood.
Officers believe crime gangs are deliberately targeting the Narborough Road and West End area because its high number of rental homes and rapid population turnover provides cover.
The latest came to light in Harrow Road on Wednesday – the second such discovery in the street.
Officers found approximately 100 plants and cultivation and ventilation equipment inside the terraced property.
Inspector Rob Randell, commander of West Leicester police, said: “We are getting one of these a week, if not more.
“Inevitably, there are others we don’t know about.
“If the public tell us where these places are, we will take action.
“I think the problem is largely down to the make-up of the housing market in this area – a lot of the homes are privately rented and some of the landlords are not around here and cannot be easily reached.
“The people who set these places up are exploiting that.
“This is about organised criminality and exploitation and we are determined to stop it.”
Councillor Sarah Russell said a number of cannabis farms – including one in her street – have been raided in the past year.
Coun Russell said: “There is a large number of rented houses in this area and the turnover in popular is huge.
The city council is considering introducing a registration scheme for private landlords. If implemented, landlords would be licensed to operate.
Coun Russell said: “I think this would help us with the problem of houses being used for cannabis cultivation, as well as other issues such as fly-tipping, health and safety issues or anti-social behaviour.
“We have a lot of absentee landlords in this area and sometimes it can take our city wardens months to trace them to raise an issue with them.
“A licensing system would change that.”
Emergency services have previously warned that buildings modified for cannabis cultivation are fire hazards because the gangs which run them tamper with the electrics to bypass the mains.
Signs a property is being used for cannabis cultivation include:
- Excessive fortification
- Silver duct tape hanging out of windows
- Blacked-out windows
- Condensation on windows
- Peeling wallpaper or mildewed walls
A pungent smell
A landlord who owns a number of houses in the city, who did not want to be named, previously told LeicestershireLive: “You do your best to vet people before you agree to take them on as tenants but I’ve been told they come across as saints when you first meet them.
“If you don’t keep a close eye on what is going on you can end up finding your property has been wrecked and they have moved on to the next place.”
We want you to be able to get your news whenever and however you want it.
As well as our website, we have a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, @leicslive, and for a daily snapshot of the top stories, you can sign up to receive our newsletters.
If you prefer to use an app, we’ve got apps for both Android and Apple devices which can be tailored to deliver the news and sport that you’re interested in.
And if you download our app, you can sign up for push notifications, which means you’ll get alerts about the biggest breaking news stories.
We’ve also got Facebook groups for traffic and travel, crime, things to do with the kids, shopping and homes for sale.
Full story is available here.