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UK: Raided cannabis cafe could reopen

BBC News

Tuesday 23 Oct 2007

Police in West Sussex fear a heavily fortified cannabis cafe raided 12
days ago by officers with a tractor is about to reopen with stronger

Several people have been arrested at the industrial unit in Freshbrook
Road, Lancing, but police say they have no powers to close the premises

Insp James Asser said officers had to gather evidence to prove in court
it was being used for smoking cannabis.

He said new reinforcements included razor wire and electric currents.

Wall pulled down

"The information and intelligence we have indicates it will be opened
again," he said.

"We have raided the premises twice - once in July and once in October
and on both occasions we have started proceedings with the Crown
Prosecution Service.

"We haven't yet got a result from that."

He said the building had extensive air locking systems, steel reinforced
doors and reinforced windows.

"Now a notice at the entrance states hidden razor wire is present and
strong electric currents as well," he said.

During the last raid, a wall was pulled down and a window removed.

Several people have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and
drug offences and are on police bail pending further inquiries.

Cannabis and cash has also been seized.

Mr Asser said police had to prove in court that the offence of allowing
a premises to be used for smoking cannabis was being committed.

"We don't have the power to close premises down until we can prove it
beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

"That is the whole purpose of this game - to gather the evidence so we
can put that before a court."




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