Cannabis-growing equipment could soon be helping a football club to cultivate some grass of their own – and with the help and approval of police.
Under budding plans in the pipeline, East Herts officers will take lights found in raids on drugs factories and donate them to Hertford Town Football Club.
Chief Inspector Gerry McDonald met with Hertford Town Football Club’s Mat Court last week to hash out the plans.
Mr McDonald said: “What we are trying to do is convert criminal activity into helping local charities and clubs. Instead of smashing the product up, we can help a good cause.”
“This is pure business sense. It’s turning bad into good and this is how we can help these local people and help them grow better.”
If successful, the scheme could be rolled out across the whole of the district.
Mat Court, the facilities manager for the club, said: “Basically, the issue is in football clubs that they are playing on proper grass. Grass doesn’t like being run all over. Over the winter period, that’s a real problem.”
“The cultivation lamps are used by Premier League football clubs, and they use them to help the grass think it’s summer during the winter.”
“What we are trying to do is replicate that Premier League cultivation at a grassroots level.”
The lights would be attached to a structure to be moved around different patches of the club’s West Street grounds. Particular problem areas are the goal mouth and the centre circle.
“Hopefully, we will end up with a better playing surface for the winter” added Mr Court.
“It will depend on what the police can do. They just throw these things away and that’s not very environmentally sustainable.”
Mr Court approached police with the idea after he read about Notts County FC doing the same.
He said the lights will probably come in time for next winter.
“It really depends on the criminals and if they want to get caught” he said.
“We have got to wait for the next drugs bust. We are just a small club for Hertford. It was really nice that the police took the time to listen to us.”
Read more on The Hertfordshire Mercury