All this snow has caused a fair bit of havoc in the colder regions of the world, with panic-buying outstripping supermarket shelves, headteachers banning kids from touching snow due to ‘health and safety’ and travel disruptions left, right and centre.
But that’s nothing compared to anyone who’s running a cannabis farm – because for them, the snow could mean the ultimate disaster: they could get busted.
Why? Because of sights like this:
The viral image was shared by Dutch police a couple of years back, but it’s doing the rounds again as local police use it as a reminder that those growing cannabis might not be as elusive as they may think.
Police in the Netherlands originally tweeted: “No snow on the neighbours’ roof? You can report suspected cannabis farms anonymously.“
Kingsbridge Police in Devon then also posted the picture just a couple of days ago, captioning the image: “If we are lucky enough to have some decent snow over the next few days, and if anybody notices a sight like this, can you let us know.” They signed it off with a cheeky winking emoji, too.
It boils down to the fact that cannabis plants need heat and light to grow, which means that homes harbouring a cannabis farm will be much warmer that others – you know, thanks to all of those heat lamps. And because of the unusually mild temperatures of the building, snow tends to melt on the roof, providing the telltale sign that’s gone viral.
It’s particularly big giveaway if the criminal activity is taking place in a terraced house, as the melted snow sticks out like a sore thumb.
Police in the UK have been known to use helicopter patrols to look out for the suspiciously snow-free roofs, The Mirror reports.
While the police have been asking members of the public to keep an eye out on their neighbours’ roofs, Public Health England‘s Dr Thomas Waite has also said it’s important to check on neighbours and loved ones who may be suffering with the cold spell.
He said: “Check on friends, family and neighbours who may be at risk and make sure they’re heating homes to at least 18C, see if they need any particular help or just someone to talk to and keep an eye on the Met Office’s forecasts and weather warnings.”