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A good police nose leads to cannabis plants

Nine cannabis plants seized in Telina on Tuesday.
Nine cannabis plants seized in Telina on Tuesday.

GLADSTONE general duty police officers have literally used their noses to seize nine cannabis plants from a Telina home as three routine police jobs resulted in three people being charged with possessing dangerous drugs within two days.

Police were sent to a Telina home on Tuesday after receiving a call from someone who was concerned about the welfare of the resident.

When police arrived they spoke to a man and women and could smell burnt cannabis coming from inside the home.

Gladstone District Crime Prevention Co-ordinator acting senior constable Melanie Bevan said the smell of burnt cannabis is something quite distinctive.

"Police are taught through doing search warrants with senior police to know what it smells like," she said.

"It's quite a strong smell and something you definitely know the smell of once you're taught."

This gave the officers the right to search the home, through the Police Powers and Responsibility Act, where if they have "reasonable suspicion" they can search without a warrant.

The officers detained the male and female, searched the house and found nine cannabis plants.

"It's obviously not what they were expecting but they would feel good knowing it's not going to be sold and used by other people," Act Snr Cst Bevan said.

"It's a good job by the officers but it happens quite a lot."

As a result of the officers' following their nose, a 21-year-old woman was charged with possessing a dangerous drug, possessing utensils that had been used, possessing property suspected of having been used in a connection with a dangerous drug and producing a dangerous drug.

She will appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on February 9.

The principle of "reasonable suspicion" was used when two vehicles were searched, one in South Gladstone on Tuesday where police found more cannabis and the other on Wednesday in Glen Eden where they found methylamphetamine.

For police to search those cars without a warrant they also need to reasonable suspicion.

"It is something you need to be aware of all the time while you're doing your general tasks," Act Snr Cst Bevan said.

"You have to have that reasonable suspicion and we are trained to identify it."

From the search on Tuesday that was pulled over a 30-year-old woman was charged with possessing a dangerous and drug and will appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on February 8.

A man was charged with possessing dangerous drugs from the search on Wednesday and will appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on February 8.

Topics:  cannabis, crime, gladstone, police



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